Animal Protection Groups Condemn Governor Pataki for Proposing "A License for Cruelty"

The Humane Society of the United States
Friday, 29 August 2003

In the wake of public outrage following his veto of a bill that would have prohibited the cruel practice of hunting non-native mammals in "canned hunts," Governor Pataki has again attracted the ire of animal protection groups. The Fund for Animals and The Humane Society of the United States, representing more than 570,000 members in New York State, today condemned the Governor for proposing an amendment to the environmental conservation law that would require owners of such facilities to purchase a license.

"Governor Pataki has once again gone against the interests of the majority of New Yorkers," said Heidi Prescott, national director of The Fund for Animals. "This bill will do nothing but put a stamp of approval on practices that the public clearly wants banned. In essence, the Governor's bill is a second veto and a second slap in the face to the public."

The Governor shockingly vetoed a bill earlier this week that would have closed a loophole in the law that has allowed canned hunts to continue operating if they are larger than ten acres. Whether eleven acres or eleven hundred, guides who work at canned hunts know where the animals feed and how to trap them in the corners of fences. Canned hunt clients are lead by the guides to a "guaranteed kill" at point-blank range. Canned hunts violate the ethic of sportsmanship and "fair chase" held by most hunters. They also pose a threat of spreading diseases such as chronic wasting disease and tuberculosis to native wildlife.

"We wouldn't want a regulatory process for refereeing cockfights and dogfights, and we don't want a regulatory license for canned hunts," said Wayne Pacelle, a senior vice president for The Humane Society of the United States. "Canned hunts should be illegal just like other forms of extreme animal cruelty."

"The bill that the Governor vetoed had the support of the majority of the legislature and many diverse groups including animal advocates and hunters," added Prescott. "This extremely weak bill is just a façade to make the Governor appear compassionate and reasonable and to placate the public, when all it will do is regulate cruelty."

For more information, or to contact The Humane Society of the United States, see their website at: www.hsus.org

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