Up To Speed On Game 'Farming'
Herald Times August 21, 2005
LUGAR WEIGHS IN BUT LEAVES CANNED HUNT DOORS OPEN
When Indiana Dept. of Natural Resources Director Kyle Hupfer announced his plan to eliminate canned hunting in Indiana, Hoosier hunters breathed a sigh of relief after five years of battle over this issue; however, the game farms, the potential breeding grounds for Chronic Wasting Disease, are untouched and will continue to operate.
Game farmers have hired lobbyists to work on turning their operations into federally subsidized agricultural endeavors, and our Senator Richard Lugar’s position on agricultural committees makes him a prime target for game farmers seeking the federal dole. Unfortunately, the senator and his staff do not appear to be up to speed.
Senator Richard Lugar is supporting legislation that would outlaw canned hunting of “exotic” species in the U.S., but that law will do nothing to stop canned hunting of our native white tail deer and elk.
Here is Lugar’s response to my queries about his position on canned hunting and game farming:
Dear Mr. Jordan:
Thank you for taking the time to contact me with your support for S. 304, the Sportsmanship in Hunting Act of 2005.
I have long supported efforts to prevent needless cruelty to animals in the United States and abroad. I supported a ban on African ivory that helps preserve elephant herds and the Animal Welfare Act that deals with eliminating cruel and abusive treatment of animals. I have also worked to ensure that adequate funding is available to enforce existing laws that address animal welfare issues. Recently, I lent my support to a resolution urging the Canadian government to prohibit commercial seal hunting.
S. 304 has been referred to the Senate Committee on the Judiciary. I will monitor the progress of this bill. Thank you, again, for sharing your concerns with me.
Senator Richard Lugar
Of course, I did not write to Senator Lugar to support S.304. I did write to him asking him to oppose canned hunting of white tail deer and the game farms that produce deer for this purpose.
Back in Indiana, Hupfer’s order to close canned hunting operations is subject to manipulation or outright nullification by the Indiana General Assembly. The game farmers and canned hunt operators will be back again in 2006, and with the help of their elected pals in the Legislature, they could overturn the DNR’s ban.
This is one fight that will never be over in Indiana or any other state. Once again, there is money at stake, and we know from past experience that when money and politicians meet, politicians go where the money is.
Senator Lugar has been a great senator, both for Indiana and for the country, and there is every reason to believe he will see what is wrong with having a deer and elk farming industry in America. You can help him by letting him know what you think about canned hunting and deer/elk farming: firstname.lastname@example.org or you can call his Indianapolis office at (317) 226-5555.
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