STOP CANNED HUNTING IN SOUTH AFRICA!
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A number of groups object to the practice of canned hunting for reasons such as cruelty to animals or that it takes away what is known as "fair chase."
The Humane Society of the United States is an outspoken critic of canned hunting. In a statement, the HSUS called canned hunts "cruel and brutal activities," in which the hunted animal has "absolutely no chance of escape." It went on to say that animals have been "psychologically conditioned to behave as a target by life in captivity," among other objections.
Some hunting groups, especially those who focus on hunters' ethics, also object to canned hunting. These objections are on the grounds of "fair chase," the idea that an animal has a fair chance of escaping the hunter, and it's not too easy for the hunter to kill the animal. It is believed that canned hunts take this element away.
Hunting groups such as the Pope and Young Club and the Boone and Crockett Club do not accept animals killed in canned hunts for inclusion in their record books.
Safari Club International accepts animals killed in canned hunts for inclusion in its record books as well as in its award categories.
Canned hunting in the news:
In 2005, internet hunting became a major news story when a man in Texas set up a webcam and remotely controlled gun to allow hunters to shoot from their computers. According to the Humane Society, most internet hunts involve game ranches where animals are kept penned, making them essentially canned hunts.
On August 15, 2006, Troy Gentry, half of the country music singing duo Montgomery Gentry, appeared in federal court in Duluth, Minnesota charged with canned hunting. Federal prosecutors allege that Gentry bought a bear named "Cubby" from Lee Marvin Greenly, then shot the tame bear while it was in an enclosed pen, tagged the bear as if it had been killed in the wild, then arranged for the editing of a videotape of the alleged "wild" kill. Gentry and Greenly are said to face a maximum penalty of five years in federal prison and a $20,000 fine if convicted. On November 27, 2006, Gentry pleaded guilty to a charge of falsely tagging the bear. Under the plea agreement, he agreed to pay a $15,000 fine, give up hunting, fishing and trapping in Minnesota for 5 years, and forfeit both the stuffed bear and the bow used to shoot the animal in 2004. Gentry posted a statement on the duo's website on November 9, 2010, apologizing for his actions.
Another less well-known incident occurred two years prior to the Dick Cheney hunting incident when the vice president participated in a canned hunt at the Rolling Rock Club in Ligonier Township, Pennsylvania. Cheney and nine companions killed 417 out of 500 ringneck pheasants, of which the Vice President himself is credited with killing 70, and an unknown number of mallard ducks.
In South Africa, the Minister of Environmental Affairs, Mr. Marthinus van Schalkwyk, recently announced new laws to stop the practise of "canned hunting" in his country. South Africa environment minister announced long-awaited restrictions on lion hunting, declaring he was sickened by wealthy tourists shooting tame lions from the back of a truck and felling rhinos with a bow and arrow. This comes in response to the embroglio created over the potential canned hunt of the African rhinoceros 'Baixinha.'
Dismissing threats of legal action by the hunting industry, Marthinus Van Schalkwyk said the new law would ban "canned" hunting of big predators and rhinos in small enclosures that offer them no means of escape. In addition, lions bred in captivity would have to be released into the open for at least two years before they could be hunted. Van Schalkwyk said a previously proposed six-month delay would not give lions enough time to develop self-defence instincts. "Hunting should be about fair chase ... testing the wits of a hunter against that of the animal," he told a press conference. "Over the years that got eroded and now we are trying to re-establish that principle."
In May 2007 a much-reported hunting trip involved the killing of 1,051 pound pet pig in an alleged canned hunt. The pig was deemed "Monster Pig" by the media and it was believed that the pig was a feral hog. It was soon discovered that the pig, previously named "Fred," had been someone's pet and was then sold to a hunting facility only a brief time before he was killed. On May 3, paying customers Mike Stone and his 11-year-old son, Jamison, hunted him in a 150 acres (0.61 km2) fenced enclosure. Jamison shot Fred a total of eight times over a period of three hours.
A June 2007 story on CNN detailed canned hunting in South Africa and includes a video of a canned lion hunt where the animal is shot against a fence.
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