Rural lawmakers help defeat Virginia dog hunting bill
Virginia hunters who use dogs have scored a victory over one of the General Assembly's most powerful lawmakers. The House on Monday narrowly voted down legislation sponsored by House Speaker William J. Howell to fine hunters whose dogs go on private land without landowners' permission. A bipartisan group of rural lawmakers spoke out against the bill, saying it wasn't needed and would hurt a longtime and cherished tradition in some parts of the state. Supporters of the measure said it would help protect landowners against some dog hunters who don't respect property rights. Several dozen dog hunters rallied at the Capitol on Monday to help defeat the bill.