Senate Bill No. 555
(By Senators Love, Dempsey, Caldwell, Ross and Guills)
[Originating in the Committee on the Judiciary;
reported February 28, 2003.]
A BILL to amend and reenact section seven, article two, chapter
twenty of the code of West Virginia, one thousand nine hundred
thirty-one, as amended, relating to providing that persons may
not be guilty of trespassing or hunting without permission
merely because the person's dog pursues an animal or wild bird
onto another person's private or leased land.
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That section seven, article two, chapter twenty of the code of
West Virginia, one thousand nine hundred thirty-one, as amended, be
amended and reenacted to read as follows:
ARTICLE 2. WILDLIFE RESOURCES.
§20-2-7. Hunting, trapping or fishing on lands of another; damages
shall be is unlawful for any person to shoot, hunt, fish or trap upon the fenced, enclosed or posted grounds or lands
of another person; or to peel trees or timber, build fires or do
any other act or thing thereon in connection with or auxiliary to
shooting, hunting, fishing or trapping on such lands without
permission in writing from the owner, tenant or agent of such the
owner, and every owner. Every person hunting, fishing, shooting or
fowling trapping upon such lands shall have in his or her
possession such written permission when so doing.
(b) Any person who, for the purpose of or while hunting,
trapping or fishing, shall, without the permission of the owner,
tenant or agent of the owner, enter upon the land of another and
shall kill or injure any domestic animal or fowl, or
shall fowl; cut, destroy or damage any bars, gates or fence, or any
part thereof, or shall thereof; leave open any bars or gates
thereon resulting in damage to the owner or occupant thereof,
property shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, and in addition shall be
misdemeanor and liable to the owner or person suffering such damage
for all costs and damages resulting therefrom.
It shall be lawful for the (c) The owner, lessee or the person
entitled to the possession of such lands, or the agent thereof, to
tenant or agent of the owner may arrest any such a person found
violating this section and immediately take him or her before a
justice of the peace magistrate. for trial, and such The owner,
lessee, person or agent tenant or agent of the owner is hereby
vested with all the powers and rights of a game protector
conservation officer for such these purposes. The officers charged with the enforcement of the provisions of this chapter shall have
the duty to enforce the provisions of this section if requested to
do so by such the owner, lessee, person or agent tenant or agent of
the owner, but not otherwise.
(d) A person is not criminally liable under this section and
cannot be arrested pursuant to subsection (c) of this section if
the person unintentionally permits his or her dog, while beyond the
control of the person, to pursue an animal or wild bird onto
private or leased property.
(NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to provide that persons
may not be guilty of trespassing or hunting without permission
merely because the person's dog pursues an animal or wild bird onto
another person's private or leased land.
Strike-throughs indicate language that would be stricken from
the present law, and underscoring indicates new language that would