Can It! Say NO to The Sportsmanship in Hunting Act of 2005
Let's Stop Promoting "Man's Dominion" Over Nonhuman Life
On 9 February 2005, Senator Frank R. Lautenberg (D-NJ) introduced a bill (S. 304) with the short title “The Sportsmanship in Hunting Act of 2005.” Proponents of the bill claim it will “crack down on ‘canned hunts,’ the abhorrent practice of confining tame, exotic animals in an enclosed space and shooting them at close range.”  As Senator Lautenberg has acknowledged, it is important to note what the bill does and does not do.
If passed, the bill would provide a cover of legitimacy to trophy hunting ranches over 1,000 acres.
S. 304 glorifies the hunting industry with the label of "sportsmanship."
As its title suggests, it accepts the concept of "fair chase" formulated by the Boone and Crocket Club, which Theodore Roosevelt founded to promote competition for antlers, horns and skulls. The "fair chase" is "intended to enhance the hunter’s experience." Within such a paradigm, the nonhuman interest in life and freedom is never seriously considered.
Can The Act That Sells Out Endangered Antelopes
The Sportsmanship in Hunting Act impedes the effort to protect and respect endangered antelopes and other animals.
In 2005, pressed by legal action from Friends of Animals, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service listed as endangered the scimitar-horned oryx, addax, and dama gazelle. These antelopes, native to arid northern Africa, are now all highly endangered due to habitat destruction caused by agribusiness, armed conflict, mining, and poaching.
Private canned-hunting ranches in the United States, mainly in Texas, breed and keep some of these antelopes, and charge tourists for the opportunity to take home trophies. It is hypocritical in the extreme to refer to U.S. tourists who kill these antelopes as "sportsmen," while identifying African hunters of the same animals as poachers.
Yet, pressed by ranchers, the government exempted U.S.-bred antelopes from their "endangered" designation. With a few limited requirements, the new rule allows any person to kill, export, or sell live antelopes.
Plotting of ranches with over 1,000 acres with 2005 Texas Hunting Lease Licenses
Data used to plot this map was provided by Texas Parks and Wildlife Department
Members and supporters of Friends of Animals thank the Environmental Law Clinical Partnership of the University of Denver for their steadfast work in the legal challenge to keep all antelopes the highest level of legal protection possible.
Please encourage your legislators to oppose this bill. You can locate your Senators through http://www.congress.org or write to them at:
The Honorable ______________
United States Senate
Washington, DC 20510
Congressional Switchboard 202-224-3121
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