Police Warn Hunt Opponents about Vigilante Activities

Police in Cumbria, Great Britain warned in March that they will not tolerate vigilante activities by anti-hunt protests. Right, just like Great Britain has shown it will not tolerate harassment and violence for anti-animal research activists.

Police Superintendent Steve Turnbull told The Whitehaven News,

We would also discourage anyone from disrupting legal activities.

If anybody has any information [on illegal hunts] they should hand it over to the police. We will listen to them.

Wow — police are actually going to discourage people from interfering with legal activities. What a bold policy. Turnbull’s really going out on a limb here.


Police Warn Anti-Hunt Vigilantes. The Whitehaven News, April 2005.

Hunts Continue Despite Ban

In a press release, the Countryside Alliance noted that although the ban on fox hunting with hounds went into effect on February 18th, hunts actively continued despite the ban.

According to the press release,

Hunts have taken part in more than 1,000 days of hunting and approximately 800 foxes alone have been killed since the ban came into force. Fox hunts have used a variety of methods including flushing foxes to guns, and terrier work to protect game birds.

It is a huge morale boost to see hunts determined to retain their infrastructure until this temporary ban is repealed. Hunts around the country have shown just how impossible it would be for already over stretched police forces to enforce the legislation.

The response from animal rights activists has been that the number would have been even greater without the ban and that some of the hunts mentioned above may be in violation of the law, while pro-hunt activists maintain they are operating legally and this is about the same number of foxes killed during the same period last year.


800 foxes killed since the ban on hunting. Charles Clover, The Daily Telegraph, March 25, 2005.

Paul Watson Compares Seal Hunt to Holocaust

As Canada announced in March that it would proceed with a seal hunt this spring in which up to 320,000 seals would be killed, animal rights and environmental extremist Paul Watson compared the seal hunt to the Holocaust.

According to Toronto Star columnist Kelly Toughill, Watson was responding a Newfoundland Memorial University student on whether or not Watson and seal hunters could reach a compromise. Watson’s reply was that,

I would not have compromised with the Nazi over the fate of the Jews in the Warsaw ghetto and I do not believe in compromising with the thugs who kill these seals.

In a response on his web site, Watson countered,

I think this is a good analogy. It is not a question of comparing Jews to seals. It is all about compromising with evil. I, in fact, honour the defenders of the Warsaw Ghetto. They were brave men and women who stood up to tyranny with courage against hopeless odds. In that movement against the NaziÂ’s, those who compromised led their people to defeat and death. The statement was about not giving in to compromise and was not a criticism of the Jewish struggle. If I offended the sealers with the analogy, then that was my point. If I offended anyone of the Jewish faith, then I apologize for the unintended slight.

Yet more evidence that Godwin’s Law extends will past the confines of the Internet.


The big lie about the harp seal hunt. Kelly Toughill, The Toronto Star, March 26, 2005.

Response to Kelly Toughill of the Toronto Star. Paul Watson, March 28, 2005.

Hunting on the Decline in Florida and Nationwide

As the United States becomes more and more urban, the number of people hunting continues to decline, and Florida is experiencing that drop even more than other parts of the country.

According to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, in 1994-95, Florida sold 175,894 resident hunter licenses and 3,480 non-resident licenses.

By 2000-2001, that had declined to 16,1882 resident license and an increase to 7,088 non-resident licenses. In 2003-2004, resident sales had dropped to 156,036 and non-resident sales dropped to 6,761.

In 9 years, then, the total number of hunting licenses sold in Florida has declined by almost 10 percent. That’s a bit higher than the national figure — the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service estimates that from 1991-2001, sales of hunting licenses decreased 7.3 percent nationwide.

Tampa Bay online sports columnist Frank Sargeant notes that a continuing downward trend in the sale of hunting licenses could have impacts well beyond hunters,

So who besides hunter should care [about the decline]?

Anyone with an interest in wildlife and wild places, actually. License sales help fund nearly 5 million acres of public land, much of it high-quality habitat for everything from whitetail deer to wild turkeys to quail, rabbits and squirrels.

Land preserved to produce good numbers of wildlife for hunters continues to do so as long as hunting pressure is managed, as it is today in all states across the nation. That’s why there are more deer and turkeys in America’s woodlands today than there have been in 100 years.

But when the interest in hunting goes away, so do the license fees. Without funding, it’s likely that the state will have to sell more of the land currently in the wildlife management programs to make ends meet — and these days, the bulldozers are rarely far behind when a piece of woods passes into private ownership.

This is one of the problems in the animal rights activists’ claims that, taken as a whole, animal watchers spend more money on their activities than do hunters. Even if you believe this, however, the hunters, fishers and trappers still pay far more money that goes directly to wildlife and land management.

This is the case especially given that hunters and wildlife watchers currently co-exist without serious problem given the large numbers who participate in one or both activities.


Hunting licenses sales keep falling. Frank Sargeant, Tampa Bay Online, March 27, 2005.

North Carolina State Senator Introduces Hunter’s Bill of Rights

In March, North Carolina State Senator David Hoyle introduced a bill in that state’s legislature that would add a hunter’s bill of rights to that states laws which, among other things, explicitly holds that animals are property and that any laws or regulations in North Carolina may hold otherwise.

The language of Senate Bill 918 reads that,

The General Assembly finds that animals are property, whether the animals are domesticated animals owned by persons or wildlife resources held in trust for all citizens. No law, local ordinance, rule, or regulation shall seek to establish or attempt to grant to animals any rights of persons under the law. No statute, local ordinance, rule, or regulation shall have as its philosophical basis the concept that animals are entitled to the legal justice to which persons are entitled, or that animals have the rights of persons under the law.

In addition to holding hunting, fishing and trapping as a right in North Carolina,

Hunting, trapping, and fishing, including the taking of wild animals, wild birds, and fish, are a valued part of the heritage of this State, are a fundamental right of the people, and shall be forever preserved for the people.

The law also explicitly bans any sort of hunt saboteur activities,

It is unlawful for a person to interfere intentionally with the lawful taking of wildlife resources or to drive, harass, or intentionally disturb any wildlife resources for the purpose of disrupting the lawful taking of wildlife resources. It is unlawful for a person to intentionally distract or displace, or attempt to distract or displace, a hunting dog while that dog is running, hunting, on point, or in training. It is unlawful to take or abuse property, equipment, or hunting dogs that are being used for the lawful taking of wildlife resources. This subsection does not apply to a person who incidentally interferes with the taking of wildlife resources while using the land for other lawful activity such as agriculture, mining, or recreation. This subsection also does not apply to activity by a person on land he owns or leases.

The full text of North Carolina Senate Bill 918 can be read here.

Activists Obtain Signatures to Put Michigan Dove Season on Ballot

Animal rights activists — funded by $100,000 from the Humane Society of the United States’ lobbying arm the HSUS Fund for Animals — apparently managed to collect more than enough signatures to place a measure to overturn Michigan’s recently approved dove hunt on the 2006 ballot.

In 2004, Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm signed legislation making Michigan the 41st state to allow hunting of mourning doves. The first hunt was held in September 2004. The initial hunt was limited to just six counties, to be expanded after at least three years if studies of the hunt prove to be consistent with good wildlife management policies.

HSUS canvassers needed to collect 159,000 signatures from Michigan residents to place the issue on the 2006 ballot, but collected about 275,000 according to the HSUS.

The HSUS’s Michael Markarian said in a press release,

The dove hunters brought this fight to Michigan after the state’s gentle and inoffensive mourning doves were protected here for several generations. The overwhelming statewide support for the petition drive shows that mainstream Michiganders want to restore the century-old ban on shooting doves. They don’t want the state’s official bird of peace blasted into pieces.

Remember, this comes from a group that claims it does not oppose hunting — apparently it just opposes the killing of animals by hunters!

U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance president Bud Pidegon said in a press release,

National animal rights groups have invaded Michigan to spread their anti-hunting, anti-animal use agenda while attacking generations of sportsmen. They want to ban all hunting.

This should set up a very interesting showdown in a state where rural hunters are an important political bloc.


More Than 275,000 Signatures Collected to Allow Vote on Restoring Michigan’s Century-Old Dove Shooting Ban. Press Release, Humane Society of the United States, March 28, 2005.