The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) has joined forces with Senator Ted Lieu and Senate President Pro Tempore Darrell Steinberg to introduce Senate Bill 1221, legislation that would outlaw the use of dogs for hunting bears and bobcats in California. HSUS is trying to use the momentum from its failed attempt to fire California State Fish & Game President Daniel Richards for legally hunting mountain lion in another state. Mountain Lion hunting has been illegal in California since HSUS was able to get it banned in 1990. Now government hunters have to cull the over populations.
Fifteen years ago HSUS made their first attempt at banning all hunting with dogs. The Masters of Foxhounds Association (MFHA), US Sportsmen's Alliance (USSA), and California Houndsmen for Conservation were able to stop them. In the final hour HSUS, using its strategy of "compromise" (you give up something they give up nothing and still win), stated it just wanted to ban bear hunting with dogs. They lost that too because Californians realized if bear hunting with dogs was illegal, it wouldn't be long before all other hunting with dogs was illegal.
"We are going to use the ballot box and the democratic process to stop all hunting in the United States ... We will take it species by species until all hunting is stopped in California. Then we will take it state by state."
-Wayne Pacelle, Senior VP Humane Society of the US (HSUS), formerly of Fund for Animals, Full Cry Magazine, October 1, 1990.
"If we could shut down all sport hunting in a moment, we would."
-Wayne Pacelle, Senior VP Humane Society of the US (HSUS), formerly of Fund for Animals, Associated Press, Dec 30, 1991.
"The entire animal rights movement in the United States reacted with unfettered glee at the Ban in England ...We view this act of parliament as one of the most important actions in the history of the animal rights movement. This will energize our efforts to stop hunting with hounds."
-Wayne Pacelle, CEO, Humane Society of the US (HSUS), London Times, December 26, 2004.
What don't you understand?
This hidden agenda legislation not only threatens the long-standing tradition of hunting these species with dogs, but sets the precedent placing all other types of hunting with dogs up next.
Taken from SB 1221:
(b) It is unlawful to permit or allow any dog to pursue any big game mammal during the closed season on such that mammal, to pursue any fully protected, rare, or endangered mammal at any time, to pursue any bear or bobcat at any time, or to pursue any mammal in a game refuge or ecological reserve if hunting within such that refuge or ecological reserve is unlawful.
This bill is dangerous for all sporting dog owners and all hunters. All animal owners should oppose this vigorously and support any group who opposes it.
To view Senator Lieu's press release, click here.
To view a copy of the bill language, click here.
The MFHA in conjunction with USSA, National Animal Interest Alliance (NAIA) and California Outdoor Heritage Alliance (COHA) needs your help. If we can't stop another attempt at banning hunting with dogs this time, there is little question all hunting with dogs will be taken down one by one and don't think bird dogs won't go next.
There are huge advantages to hunting with dogs, especially when hunting bear, bobcats, raccoons and lions. Some of the advantages are: Once treed these animals can be tagged (for wildlife studies) or moved to another location where they are not a nuisance; sex and age can be determined for better population control and better compliance with game laws; and if the animal is being harvested, the opportunity for a decisive clean kill is enhanced considerably and or the animal can be left without harm. The bill is also an attack on public safety as California black bear numbers have more than doubled over the past 30 years. Coupled with California's dramatic increases in population and urbanization, it is increasingly important that state wildlife officials have every tool necessary to control populations. Hunting with dogs is an accepted, effective, challenging and humane method of hunting.
The ignorance in their argument doesn't stop there. In their argument they state radio collars used to chase quarry are cruel because once the dogs have treed an animal the hunter can go directly to it. The point of radio collars is to find the dog and if it has treed the animal to get to it quickly. The radio collar makes sure dogs are not lost and animals are not left at bay for long periods of time because you can't find the dog. It is everything about being humane to the dog and the quarry, quite the opposite from their assertions. Radio collars do not find quarry they only allow the hunters to find their dogs.
A major component of our argument must be that natural resource management policy decisions, including method of take, are appropriately made based on the best available science, thorough environmental documentation pursuant to the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), and in public forum by the Fish and Game Commission - the regulatory body established specifically to regulate methods of take and legal seasons for hunted species. Trying to address this issue via the State Legislature fully avoids all the same environmental review and oversight that that same Legislature deemed necessary by establishing CEQA.
Take Action! California sportsmen must speak out today and prevent anti-hunters from driving this debate. Call your state senator and tell them to oppose SB 1221. To find your senators contact information, visit the USSA Legislative Action Center at www.ussportsmen.org/lac or go to NAIA Trust http://capwiz.com/naiatrust/dbq/officials/
On HSUS's own website they state: "As a matter of principle, The HSUS opposes the hunting of any living creature for fun, trophy, or sport..." This isn't just about California. We need all hunters and animal rights targets to help us get this removed. Please get you friends involved.