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New Illinois laws for ag, hunting

SPRINGFIELD – Several new laws impacting agriculture, animals and hunting take effect for 2017.

Take a look at some of these laws below:

Youth Trapping Licenses (SB 2410/PA 99-0868): Allows individuals age 18 and younger to trap without having to take the hunter training course required by DNR. Youth must be accompanied by parent, grandparent, or guardian 21 years of age or older. Provides that beginning January 1, 2016 anyone person born on or after January 1, 1998 cannot obtain a trapping license unless they provide proof they have a certificate of competency provided for in the section regarding trapping.

Ag Teacher Grant Program (SB 2975/PA 99-0826): Creates the Agricultural Education Teacher Grant Program that aims to assist school districts in paying for personal services costs of agriculture education instructors.

Specialty Hunting Licenses (SB 3003/PA 99-0869): States that DNR, on an annual basis, may establish a youth-only spring wild turkey season which shall include 2 consecutive weekends. Consolidates lines referring to the special permits for Equity members, partners, and shareholders of land owned by a company, as well as Illinois residents who own 40 or more acres of property they intend to hunt on into one new section.

Agribusiness Recognition Signs (HB 4318/PA 99-0823): Allows the Department of Agriculture to sell (at cost) to qualified applicants signs recognizing an agribusiness that has operated for 100 years or more or 150 years or more.

Public Hunting of Game Birds (HB 4604/PA 99-0866): Allows hunters to take bobwhite quail, chukar partridge, and gray partridge on public hunting grounds.

Fishing Rules/Regulations (HB 5788/PA 99-0867): Adds catfish to the list of species that may be taken with a pitchfork, underwater spear gun, bow and arrow, or a bow and arrow device. Allows the Department of Natural Resources to authorize the selling of species taken by the above methods within that specific section.

Local Food, Farms, and Jobs Council Reduction (HB 5933/PA 99-0653): Reduces the size of the voting members on the Local Food, Farms and Jobs Council from 35 to 18 in order to increase efficiency. Removes the council’s responsibility to develop a label and certification program.

Egg Sales (HB 6287/PA 99-0732): No eggs may be offered for sale for consumer use 45 days or more after candling (rather than after the original 30-day candling date). Extends the expiration date labeling requirement for grade A and AA eggs to no later than 45 days after candling.

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