LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — Hunters who use specially trained falcons to kill prey could soon be allowed to deploy those birds to get rid of pest animals that damage property in Nebraska.

Lawmakers gave first-round approval Friday to a bill that would create a new raptor permit for wildlife abatement.

Nebraska already offers hunting permits for falconers, but the new permit would allow them to use the birds against animals that damage property or pose a threat to human health, safety and commerce. One possible example is birds that congregate around airports, creating a safety hazard for aircraft.

The measure by Sen. Tom Brewer, of Gordon, advanced on a 37-0 vote. Two additional votes are required before it goes to the governor.

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