Target: Indiana Department of Natural Resources
Goal: Shut down the remaining fenced-in hunting preserves in Indiana
In 2005, Indiana’s Department of Natural Resources declared fenced-in hunting illegal, yet five preserves continue to operate due to an injunction filed that year. A new Senate bill in Indiana would continue the ban on new preserves but allow the remaining five to continue operating. Tell the Department of Natural Resources that fenced-in hunting is inhumane and irresponsible, and to close the existing preserves.
At the five fenced-in preserves still open in the state of Indiana, hunters pay thousands of dollars to come to shoot deer, pheasants and other wildlife. Hunters argue that they have invested thousands of dollars into these preserves that were established before fenced-in hunting was made illegal. The horrible reality is that these preserves are not only an area where hunters can hunt animals who have not been raised to fear humans, but are also a breeding ground for the catastrophic Chronic Wasting Disease. Chronic Wasting Disease, which is similar to Mad Cow Disease, first appeared in the captive deer population in Colorado in the 1960s. It has spread to twenty states, causing wild populations of elk, deer and moose to plummet. The disease, which is extremely contagious, fatal and incurable, is believed to be exacerbated by fenced-in living conditions. Attempts at containing the disease have cost state governments thousands of dollars. Then there’s the obvious inhumanity of fenced-in hunting operations. Gone is any notion of the “fair chase” principle of hunting; captivity-raised deer do not respond to humans the same way wild deer do.
Luckily, the closure of these existing preserves has the backing of the Department of Natural Resources as well as numerous hunting groups who feel that the preserves will heighten the risk of diseases being spread to wild game populations. If hunters really feel the need to hunt animals, they can do it legally and in the wild. Fenced-in hunting is already banned in several states and it is time for the Indiana Department of Natural Resources to finish the work they started nearly 8 years ago. Close the five remaining hunting preserves and ban the practice in the state of Indiana for good.
Dear Mr. Robert E. Carter, Jr., Director of the Indiana Department of Natural Resources,
In 2005, the Indiana Department of Natural Resources made the commendable and courageous decision to ban fenced-in hunting preserves where hunters can prey on captive populations of deer, pheasants and other wild animals. Unfortunately, the decision was thwarted by an injunction filed by five hunting preserves who claimed that they had been granted the right to operate prior to the ban. Hunters who frequent the parks feel that it is unfair that they have invested thousands of dollars into the enterprises and should be able to continue to hunt there. As you know, fenced-in preserves are not only a brutal and inhumane venue for hunters to track and kill innocent animals who have not been raised in the wild to fear humans, but also a breeding ground for infectious diseases like Chronic Wasting Disease.
Several hunting organizations have raised concerns about how these preserves contribute to the spread of Chronic Wasting Disease to wild animal populations and with good reason. Chronic Wasting Disease is fatal, incurable and very contagious, and has been ravaging wild animal populations across the United States since the 1960s. Why should the state of Indiana keep spending taxpayer dollars to fight the spread of infectious diseases like Chronic Wasting Disease while these preserves continue to operate as an alternative for hunters who would rather shoot a captive animal than hunt legally in the wild? It is time to finish the work that the Department started in 2005 and close the five remaining hunting preserves. Please stop Senate Bill 487 that would allow them to continue operating and join the many other states who have ended the inhumane and dangerous practice of fenced-in hunting.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Praveen Kumar via Wikimedia Commons