Oregon has introduced 4 bills promoting cruel and unethical hunting methods.
Oregon has introduced four bills that not only promote cruel and unethical hunting methods, they threaten the democratic process.
- H.B. 2107, H.B. 2589 and S.B. 371: These three bills allow counties to opt out of Measure 18 via a county-wide vote. Measure 18 is a statewide law banning use of hounds to trophy hunt cougars and was passed by a wide majority of voters throughout Oregon in 1994. These bills would set a dangerous precedent.
- H.B. 458: Perhaps the most frightening bill, would mandate the Oregon Fish and Wildlife Department to set up a controlled hound hunting program for cougars, bypassing the citizen majority who has repeatedly said no to the sport hunting of cougars with hounds.
Speak Up and Say NO to Hounding
Hounding is cruel and harmful to all animals involved, with packs of radio-collared dogs chasing the cougar until she retreats into a tree or rock ledge, and enabling the trophy hunter to shoot the cornered animal at close range. Hounding poses significant risk to the hounds, who may end up fighting adult male and mother cougars who choose to fight rather than flee, as well as to young wildlife, including dependent kittens, who may be killed by hounds. Hounds also disturb or kill non-target wildlife and trespass onto private lands. This practice is not fair chase and is highly controversial even among hunters.
Cougar Complaints at All-Time Low
Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife data shows cougar complaints are at an all-time low, and cougar mortality is at a level twice that of the year before Measure 18 was passed. Oregon ranks fifth highest nationwide for trophy hunting mortality of cougars, even without the use of hounds. Between 2005 and 2014, trophy hunters killed 2,602 cougars, with a steady average of 260 cougars killed annually.
What You Can Do!
The Mountain Lion Foundation suggests:
IF YOU LIVE IN OREGON YOUR OPINION IS CRUCIAL.
Send an electronic letter above and we will forward a paper copy to your representative and send a copy to the Governor of Oregon
Please be sure to use your own voice and experiences when adding your comments and feel free to use and expand on the talking points below:
- These bills would undo Measure 18, the statewide initiative that passed in 1994 by a majority vote to ban cougar trophy hunting with hounds.
- The passage of these bills would give counties authority to override state law and set a dangerous precedent by rendering majority votes on statewide ballot measure initiatives meaningless.
- These bills would put Oregon’s cougar population and other wildlife in grave danger from indiscriminate chase by hounds.
- Hounders should know where their hounds are at all times because of the radio collars they wear, but hounds can range miles from hounders, crossing private land and attacking, injuring and killing non-target game and even pets.
- Dependent cougar kittens fall victim to hound packs as well, as they are attacked and killed during the chase.
- Hounds are injured and killed on the hunt as they face large male lions and mother lions who are trying to protect their kittens.
- Hunting with hounds is not fair chase and many ethical hunters do not approve of hounding.
- Cougars are ‘treed’ by hounds and must wait with no escape until the hunter arrives to shoot and kill the terrified and exhausted animal at close range.
NO MATTER WHERE YOU LIVE, YOU CAN STILL SEND A LETTER.
If you live outside of Oregon we will forward a paper copy of your letter to the Governor of Oregon. Let’s let them know that MOUNTAIN LIONS SHOULD NOT BE HUNTED BY DOGS!
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