updated 2/20/2009 3:54:40 PM ET 2009-02-20T20:54:40

The Wyoming State Senate gave preliminary approval to a bill that would prohibit Internet hunting.

Internet hunting, also referred to as cyber hunting, allows a person to log onto a Web site and shoot animals with a remote-controlled rifle attached to a Web cam.

Sen. Bruce Burns, R-Sheridan, said the practice started in Texas, but has been outlawed there. The House has already approved the bill.

"There is concern that it may move offshore, or may move to a country immediately south of us, because apparently there is good money in it," Burns said.

The Senate adopted an amendment to the bill, which was approved Thursday, after Burns noted that the original version only talked only about prohibiting shooting wildlife, but not other animals.

"And we got to thinking, why just wildlife?" Burns said. "The idea of shooting any animal via the Internet is fairly abhorrent, so we added the words 'animal' or 'animals' to that amendment."

Speaking of the entire bill, Burns said, "The so-called sport is up there frankly with dog fighting as far as being an activity that we don't want the people of Wyoming to be dealing in."

Sen. Charles Townsend, R-Osage, spoke in favor of the bill.

"It's absolutely despicable to have a remote gun, unless we were able to send the gun to Iraq or something like that," Townsend said. "So lets vote it out of here right now."

John Emmerich, deputy director of the Wyoming Game and Fish Department, said after the Senate vote that the department supports the bill and opposes Internet hunting. He said 38 states have already passed bans.

Wyoming game rules make allowances for hunters who use wheelchairs as well as for blind hunters, Emmerich said.

However, Emmerich said, "Killing something on the Internet is not consistent with the whole concept of hunting and fair chase."

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