Target: Cathy Stepp, Secretary of the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources
Goal: Ban cruel practice of bear baiting in the state of Wisconsin
Bear baiting is a cruel practice in which hunters leave out food for bears only to shoot and kill them when they approach the area to eat. Often, the bait also attracts wolves, who then become fair game as well. Bear baiting is outlawed in 18 of the 28 states that allow bear hunting. However, bear baiting is legal in the state of Wisconsin.
In Wisconsin it is also legal to use a method called “hounding,” using hunting dogs to attack bears and wolves, often during the bear baiting process. Wisconsin encourages this method to the extent that they compensate for dogs killed in the practice of hounding, offering owners $2,500 per hunting dog killed by woods, at the taxpayers’ expense. Compensating hunters for their dogs killed in hunting wolves costs the state of Wisconsin more than all other wolf attacks on domestic animals combined, including cattle and other farm animals.
Hunters claim to believe that the founding principle of hunting is a “fair chase,” however bear baiting is anything but fair. Deceptively luring an animal to you, eliminating the chase altogether, only to kill them when they are completely off-guard is incredibly inhumane and cruel. Demand that the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources ban this terrible practice, to save the lives of bears, wolves, and dogs who are at risk, and to preserve and show respect for citizens’ tax dollars.
Dear Cathy Stepp,
Please ban the practice of bear baiting in the state of Wisconsin. Most other states who still allow bear hunting have already banned this cruel practice, as it violates the main principle of hunting—a “fair chase.” In bear baiting, there is no fair chase. Bears, and often wolves as well, are lured to the hunter by the presence of food, where they are killed while they eat, completely off-guard. This practice is cruel and incredibly unfair.
“Hounding” is another method often used in conjunction with bear baiting, in which hunting dogs are sent to attack bears and wolves directly. Dogs are often killed in this practice. Taxpayers suffer from hounding as well, as tax dollars are used to compensate hunters $2,500 for every dog that is killed in hounding. This expense is greater than that of all other domestic and farm animals that are killed by wolves combined. Ban the practices of bear baiting and hounding to uphold the foundational principle of hunting and to protect the bears, wolves, dogs, and taxpayers from undue suffering.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Being Myself via Flickr