Submitted by cbaus on Wed, 01/20/2010 - 07:00. National PoliticsGuns in the NewsGun GrabbersSports and Hunting
By Greg R. Lawson
Wayne Pacelle, the president and CEO, of the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) decided he needed to hit back after a recent column in the Washington Times truthfully outlined the reality of HSUS' mission.
Gene Mueller, a longtime columnist with the Washington Times recently picked up on a previous blog post where I wrote about Rush Limbaugh winning the Field & Stream online sportsmen's "villain" contest. It was a fair piece that made clear that HSUS' main mission is to raise money to, and I quote, "lobby against hunting and/or medical research in which animals are used to test medication and surgical procedures."
In a December 29 letter to the editor at the Washington Times, Pacelle goes off and attempts to defend the HSUS' anti-hunting agenda by stating:
When it comes to hunting issues, we work to curb the most inhumane abuses, and that's what has led us most recently to campaign vigorously against canned hunting, Internet hunting and the use of steel-jawed leg-hold traps - practices that the HSUS and many rank-and-file hunters agree are abusive and unacceptable.
Unfortunately for Mr. Pacelle, while his grammar may be fine, his facts are off the mark. In particular, his claims against "inhumane" traps are ridiculous. Groups such as the Fur Takers of America, National Trappers Association, and many state and local groups and individuals have spent thousands of hours researching and testing traps and methods to make sure traps being used are the most effective and humane for any animal caught. Thanks to these efforts, modern trappers have the ability to release nearly every catch unharmed. These modern trapping practices are supported by state wildlife professionals from coast to coast. Those experts consider trapping one of the most important management tools.
The bottom line is while HSUS claims it is only against "extreme" forms of hunting and trapping, some recent examples of their campaigns make that an entirely dubious claim. In fact, HSUS:
•Opposed Sunday hunting, despite there being no practical difference between hunting on that day and any other day of the week.
•Opposed a legitimate deer hunt in Westchester county New York, despite a well thought out proposal from a panel of experts;
•Pushed to get New Jersey's black bear hunt stopped which has led to a large increase in potentially dangerous human to bear interactions in the state and ignoring calls from legislators for action to prevent the increased incidences.
•Led the charge to stop dove hunting in Michigan. Doves are America's most popular game bird and hunting has no effect on the population.
•Criticized and opposed the joint effort by the U.S. Sportsmen's Alliance, National Shooting Sports Foundation and National Wild Turkey Federation to lower barriers to entry in the field for new hunters through the Families Afield program
Seriously. These actions do not look like they are designed to go after only the "worst of the worst" unless your definition of worst is "all."
HSUS knows it can't stop all hunting in one shot, but these actions illustrate that it will go after those it thinks it can stop on a case by case basis. Over time, it is clear that HSUS expects these "wins" will make all hunting and trapping a thing of the past.
Kudos again to Gene Mueller and others in his arena for standing up and telling the truth.
Greg R. Lawson is the United States Sportsmen's Alliance Director of Communications.