Monday, December 20, 2004

Animal Cruelty Seems To Be a Theme in the News Today

Look at the States involved in this Hog-Dogging story and someone please note that Arizona does not belong in this group. South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, and Arizona? I'd never heard of this before the story broke here in Arizona last week, it's a despicable practice.

Hog-dogfighting operations raided in 4 states, including Arizona: COLUMBIA, S.C. - Almost 100 dogs and more than a dozen hogs have been confiscated in South Carolina as part of a state and federal law enforcement raid on an animal fighting operation in Chester County. The raid was just one of four conducted in different parts of the country Friday, according to the Humane Society of the United States. The other raids were in Alabama, Arizona and Georgia... In the events, a dog - usually a pit or American bulldog - and a hog or wild boar with its tusks removed are put in a pen and fight until the dog forces the hog to the ground. Both animals typically suffer major injuries in the fight, according to a release from the attorney general's office. While hunting wild boar with a dog is legal in South Carolina, staged fights are prohibited. "Like dogfighting, these activities are barbaric, inhumane and will be vigorously prosecuted in South Carolina," Attorney General Henry McMaster said.
In a related issue, Cecilia Hill writes to the editor of the Arizona Daily Sun:

I just wanted to call everyone's attention to a situation that we can all remedy.

During this busy season of the year, will you take time to contact your federal legislators (Kyl and McCain) aboout supporting The Captive Animal Protection Act? This legislation will protect animals from being hunted for sport in a captive, fenced-in environment. These "canned" hunts are legal in many states, giving trophy hunters an unfair, unethical and cruel advantage over the animals.

The Web site www.canned will show you how you can make a big difference for those who cannot speak for themselves.

After reading the information at

The closing decades of the twentieth century saw the rise of a new kind of "sport" in North America: the "canned hunt." Although canned hunts advertise under a variety of names -- most frequently "hunting preserves," "game ranches," or "shooting preserves" -- they can be identified by the two traits they all have in common: they charge their clients a fee to kill an animal; and they violate the generally accepted standards of the hunting community, which are based on the concept of "fair chase."

In some cases animals may be shot in cages or within fenced enclosures; in others they may be shot over feeding stations; some of the animals are tame and have little fear of humans, while others may be tied to a stake or drugged before they are shot. But whatever method is used, the defining characteristic of a canned hunt is that the odds have been artificially manipulated against the animal so heavily that the notion of fair chase is subverted. Canned hunts are commercial hunts that take place on private land under circumstances that virtually assure the hunter of success.

While I don't have a problem with "hunting preserves," "game ranches," or "shooting preserves", I do have a problem with shooting animals in cages, at feeding stations, and animals that have been staked or drugged. I know people who hunt game ranches and such, I’ve never heard of the use of cages, and the other things listed. I for one intend to contact my representatives and I hope you'll do the same, so long as careful consideration is given to preserves and ranches that don't use these shameful practices.

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