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Indiana Hunting: Canned hunting & Whack-A-Mole

By Dale Bowman

Once again canned hunting comes to the front in Indiana. Canned hunting in Indiana is as persistent as Whack-A-Mole.

Here is an update on the latest from the Indiana Wildlife Federation:

Dear IWF Supporter,

We urgently need your help to once again stop the legalization of canned hunting.

On Monday the House Natural Resources Committee passed HB1453 which, if passed, would:

  • Legalize the shooting of captive raised deer in pen – canned hunting

  • Allow captive deer to continue to be imported into Indiana (we are calling for a ban on imports to help protect the wild deer herd from the spread of chronic wasting disease and bovine tuberculosis through interstate movement of trophy bucks and breeding stock)

  • Continue to require taxpayers, not the private owner, to cover the liability costs if disease is found.

The House of Representatives will vote on HB1453 as early as next Monday. Please make your call as soon as possible.

Read HB1453 here http://iga.in.gov/legislative/2015/bills/house/1453#document-d59ef8d2.

Please call or email your Representative and ask her/him to vote NO on HB1453 Hunting preserves - canned hunting.

Find your Representative here http://iga.in.gov/legislative/find-legislators/.

The following letter was sent via email to all Representatives. They should be able to explain to you their position on canned hunting, a ban on imports of live captive deer, and taxpayers being held responsible for the costs when disease occurs.

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Dear Representative……..,

We respectfully request you vote NO on HB1453 Hunting preserves - canned hunting. Canned hunting is unethical, threatens the wild deer herd, and puts taxpayers at risk.

Canned hunting is unethical, threatens the wild deer herd, and puts taxpayers at risk. The vast majority of Hoosiers do not support canned hunting and we need to tell our legislators. We all dislike getting involved in politics

Also, please consider two amendments to protect the wild deer herd and taxpayers:

  • A ban on imports of captive raised deer to protect the health of the wild deer herd by reducing the risk of chronic wasting disease and bovine tuberculosis entering the state. (15 states already have a complete ban on cervid imports.)

  • Transfer liability from taxpayers to the private owners of canned hunting operations. Taxpayers, under current law, are required to pay for privately owned diseased animals and the cleanup when disease occurs.

WHY CONSERVATION AND HUNTING ORGANIZATIONS OPPOSE CANNED HUNTING:

Captive deer canned hunting operations violate ethical standards.

  • Hunting captive deer that cannot escape from enclosed pens violates principle of fair chase. Shooting tame deer in a pen is not ethical.

  • Shooting preserves undermine the Indiana’s long held wildlife management philosophy that all wildlife are held in public trust and managed by the state for all citizens.

Captive deer canned hunting operations threaten wildlife health.

  • The health of Indiana’s wild deer herd is threatened when captive deer are held in high density populations and disease occurs.

  • Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD)

  • CWD is a contagious neurological disease that quickly spreads among captive herds and is transmitted by animal to animal contact or animal to soil contact.

  • Soil contaminated with CWD carries the disease vector, called prions, for years, and deer must be excluded from the area to avoid spreading the disease.

  • There is no cure for CWD. Death is always the result.

  • Bovine tuberculosis

  • Indiana has had outbreaks of bovine TB in deer and cattle in recent years. Further bovine TB outbreaks could jeopardize the Indiana beef producer industry.

  • The interstate transportation of deer to hunting preserves also contributes to health concerns.

  • Hunting preserves often import deer from out of state to meet the demand for trophy bucks. If the deer carries CWD, the disease can jump to the receiving state.Importation of captive raised deer should be banned.

Captive deer canned hunting operations threaten Indiana’s economy and put taxpayers at risk.

  • Deer hunting in Indiana contributes over $300 million annually and supports >1600 jobs. Anything threatening Indiana’s wild deer population would have a negative economic impact.

  • CWD management in Indiana would cost the state huge amounts of money.

  • Disease surveillance programs must be dramatically increased and new disease management steps must be taken at the state’s expense. Taxpayers are liable for captive deer herds condemned due to disease. Hunters and anglers license fees fund State monitoring and management of CWD.

  • The federal budget for both CWD surveillance activities and the study of prion disease has been cut, pushing the financial burden to the states.

  • Twenty-three (23) states now have CWD in captive and/or wild deer populations and have spent literally millions of dollars of their state’s natural resources budget to combat CWD. Six states have been added in the last two years and all were associated with captive deer facilities and moving captive deer.

  • 15 States have put a total ban on cervid (captive deer and elk) imports; 31 states have at least a partial ban.

  • Wisconsin has spent more than 50 million dollars.

  • The North Carolina Wildlife Resource Commission predicts CWD would cost the state $35 to $54 million in recreational economic activity each year.

Hunters, conservationists, and the general public all overwhelmingly oppose shooting captive raised deer in pens – canned hunting.

Indiana Conservation and Hunting Organizations Oppose Canned Hunting – HB1453

  • The Indiana Wildlife Federation

  • Indiana Division of the Izaak Walton League of America

  • Indiana Sportsmen’s Round Table

  • Indiana Deer Hunters Association

  • Indiana Bow Hunter Association

  • Indiana Conservation Alliance

  • Quality Deer Management Association

  • Indiana Conservation Officer Organization

  • Many other conservation and hunting organizations oppose “canned hunting” in Indiana.

Respectfully submitted on behalf of our members and the organizations above,

Barbara Simpson

Executive Director

Indiana Wildlife Federation

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IWF Supporter, thanks for your help to keep fighting canned hunting. This has been going on for years and we hope to put a stop to it this session. Your calls do really have an impact on your legislator. Please make “one more call” .

Don’t hesitate to call IWF if you want more information. Please let us know what your legislator has to say. Thanks to all of you who have already contacted your legislator.

If this information is helpful to you, considering joining Indiana Wildlife Federation and our mission of wise use and conservation of Indiana's wildlife and habitat.

Sincerely,

Barb Simpson

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