Maine Supreme Court denies appeal to bear baiting ban supporters

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PORTLAND — The Maine Supreme Judicial Court is denying an animal rights group’s request for an expedited appeal in its case against the state’s Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife.

Mainers For Fair Bear Hunting is appealing a Portland judge’s ruling that the wildlife department can use its resources to campaign against a statewide referendum to ban certain bear-hunting tactics. Maine Supreme Court Chief Justice Leigh Saufley signed a decision on Thursday denying a request for an expedited appeal. The group sought the quick appeal to try to block the wildlife department from doing any more campaigning before the Nov. 4 vote.

A spokeswoman for Mainers For Fair Bear Hunting says it will continue its appeal despite the denial. Anti-ban group Save Maine’s Bear Hunt praised Saufley’s decision.

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