Letter — Bill takes aim at hunters
March 21, 2003
The Humane Society of the United States is strongly backing legislation introduced in Sacramento that would halt a particularly inhumane and unsporting means of killing black bears in California. Specifically, we are backing AB342, a bill by Assemblyman Paul Koretz, to stop trophy hunters from using packs of radio-collared hounds to chase and kill black bears and other mammals.
Though banned by voters in Oregon and Washington by initiative petition, the killing of black bears with the aid of packs of hounds is legal in California. In fact, there are more bears killed by hound hunters in California than in any other state.
Typically, a hunter releases dogs fitted with radio transmitters on their collars in pursuit of a bear. The hunter monitors the chase on a handheld directional antenna, and when the radio signal from the dogs’ collars transmits from a stationary point, the hunter knows the bear has been driven up a tree. He then walks to the base of the tree and shoots the bear off a branch. Shooting a bear off of a tree limb is the moral and sporting equivalent of shooting a bear in a cage at a zoo, and it should be outlawed.
The use of packs of dogs is the favored means of killing for California’s poachers. By outlawing the use of packs of radio-collared hounds, we will deny poachers their most efficient and ruthless means of killing our bears.
Concerned citizens should contact their state legislators in support of AB342.
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Director, West Coast Regional Office
Humane Society of the United States
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