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Save bobcats from being slaughtered!

This petition had 104,538 supporters

Despite significant opposition, my Illinois lawmakers pushed through a bill (H.B. 352) to open a hunting and trapping season on bobcats for the first time in over four decades.  These small, shy creatures were overhunted to the brink of extinction, and their populations are only starting to make a recovery.  I’ve lived in Illinois my entire life, and I’ve never gotten the privilege of glimpsing one of these elusive cats.  I’m horrified to think I may now never get the chance to. Please sign my petition asking Governor Rauner to VETO H.B. 352.

Unlike most other species hunted in Illinois, bobcats aren’t not hunted for their meat – nobody eats these wild cats, which weigh only about 20-30 pounds. Instead, these beautiful wild cats are killed entirely for trophies or so that people can sell their pelts for fur coats. 

Bobcats are subject to some of the cruelest, most barbaric methods of hunting – including hounding, where packs of dogs chase the bobcat through the woods, until the animal is either caught on the ground or shot off of a tree branch. If the bobcat isn’t able to make it up a tree in time and is caught on the ground – which happens all too frequently – she may turn and defend herself against the dogs, causing injury and even death to both animals. It's gruesome.

If they are not hunted, bobcats trapped with steel-jawed leghold traps, outdated devices illegal in many parts of the world, that cause excruciating pain to their victims.  Animals caught in these traps can experience serious injuries – including trying to chew or twist off their own limbs as they struggle for freedom – and are left exposed to predators.

And what for?  All so that someone can wear a fur coat or have a trophy of a slaughtered wild cat?  Conflicts between bobcats and humans are minimal, if not non-existent, and they pose no genuine threat to public safety.  This is a trophy hunt for bobcat pelts – pure and simple.  Although an avid hunter himself, even Governor Rauner can surely agree that this level of unjustified cruelty is just wrong.

This is urgent. Please join me in asking Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner to veto H.B. 352 as it may otherwise be signed into law at any moment!

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