Lawmakers have advanced a bill to put an end to Nebraska's mountain lion hunting season.
LB 671 advanced past the first round in the Legislature with a 31-5 vote on Friday.
Sen. Ernie Chambers says he introduced the bill because the animals were native to the region, and they pose no real threat to humans. He says hunters only want to kill them for sport.
Opponents say the mountain lion population should be regulated by experts at the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission.
The bill does maintain exceptions that allow farmers and ranchers to kill mountain lions that threaten their property, and individuals who feel threatened by attack.
The measure must pass through two more votes before going to Gov. Dave Heineman for approval.