PORTSMOUTH, N.H. – Animal advocates in New Hampshire will hold a rally in Portsmouth to protest proposed rule changes that would allow bobcat hunting and trapping for the first time in more than two decades.

Voices of Wildlife in New Hampshire and Occupy New Hampshire Seacoast will hold a rally from 5:30-6:30 p.m. Friday in Market Square.

The rally comes just days before New Hampshire Fish and Game officials hold public hearings in Concord and Lancaster on a proposal to issue 50 bobcat permits by lottery. If approved, the proposal would take effect in December.

All of New Hampshire’s neighboring states and provinces – Maine, Vermont, Massachusetts and Quebec – have bobcat seasons, although none limit their take using a permit system as proposed by New Hampshire.

Bobcat hunting was halted in 1989.

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