I just got this press release and thought I'd share it with the folks who are interested in the preservation and protection of animals.
"CSI" SHEDS LIGHT ON CANNED HUNTING
Hit Show’s Plot Line Focuses on Killing Animals in “Pay and Shoot” Operations
WASHINGTON (February 9, 2005) – CBS’s top-rated drama “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation” may be fiction, but the scenarios depicted on the show are often based on reality. The episode scheduled to air tomorrow draws attention to an increasingly controversial practice known as canned hunting, according to The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), which provided information for the episode.
In the episode, the CSI personnel investigate the killing of a Kodiak bear, found in the woods of Lake Mead, Nevada. Evidence leads them to discover that the bear was killed during the commission of an illegal canned hunt.
In reality, canned hunting is perfectly legal in most states and The HSUS estimates that there are more than 1,000 canned hunts operations in 28 states. Texas contains more canned hunting operations than any other state.
Canned hunt operators breed deer, elk, and other big game animals, hand rear the animals, and release them into a fenced enclosure to be shot by paying clients. The defining aspects of a canned hunt are:
• The animal has does not have the opportunity to escape, which violates the concept of fair chase.
• Native and non-native species are bred specifically to stock the hunting operations.
• Clients pay a fee to kill an animal; the most common arrangement is a “no kill, no pay” policy.
• Animals are acclimated to people by feeding and other practices that make the operations more akin to a cattle ranch than a preserve for deer or other animals.
Several states have banned or restricted canned hunting, including Arizona, California, Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Mississippi, Montana, Nevada, North Carolina, Oregon, Utah, Virginia, Washington and Wisconsin.
In 2003, New York Governor George Pataki vetoed a bill that had passed both chambers of the state legislature. According to The HSUS, the small but vocal canned hunting and game farm industries in the state pressured Pataki to veto the measure.
In Indiana, the legislature is considering a bill that would exempt the state’s canned hunting operations from the state’s wildlife regulations. The representative who introduced the bill has received campaign contributions from the Indiana Deer Farmers Association.
“Governor Pataki’s veto and campaign contributions to an Indiana state representative symbolize what we’re up against in our battle to stop canned hunting,” said Heidi Prescott, HSUS senior vice president of campaigns. “We believe the ‘CSI’ episode will educate millions of viewers about this little-known but widespread practice, which is reviled even by most hunters.”
The Humane Society of the United States is the nation's largest animal protection organization with more than 8.5 million members and constituents. The HSUS is a mainstream voice for animals, with active programs in companion animals and equine protection, wildlife and habitat protection, animals in research and farm animals and sustainable agriculture. The HSUS protects all animals through legislation, litigation, investigation, education, advocacy and fieldwork. The non-profit organization is based in Washington and has field representatives across the country. On the web at hsus.org.
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
Karen L. Allanach (301) 548-7778