Ban Cruel Wildlife Sports

Target: Director of the United States Fish and Wildlife Services Daniel Ashe

Goal: End the horrific practice of trapping wild animals and forcing them to fight against hunting dogs for human entertainment

The cruel practice of “penning” involves trapping wild animals, typically foxes, bears and coyotes, and then forcing those animals into small, cramped pens in order to fight vicious hunting dogs. These wild animals are often subjected to both physical and mental torture throughout the process of being trapped, being transported in tiny crates and then crammed in a small pen only to be ripped to pieces while still alive. Penning is often carried out under the guise of “training” dogs for hunting, but is, in reality, a means of entertainment for people who gather to watch the horrific fights. Most alarmingly, this disturbing practice is still legal in the United States, one of only two countries that legally permit penning.

Foxes and coyotes are most commonly subjected to penning. However, a form of penning involving bears, known as bear baiting, is perhaps most disturbing of all. In bear baiting, bears are caught from the wild and their claws and teeth are removed. The defenseless bears are then put in a pen where they are often tethered to one spot in the enclosure, limiting their mobility even more. Dogs specifically trained to attack the bears are then released into the pen where they proceed to rip the live bears to pieces, resulting in slow, agonizing deaths for the captive bears.

Penning and bear baiting typically occur in rural areas, away from large populations. Because of this, people who participate in these cruel acts do not generally feel any threat to their horrific form of entertainment as penning and bear baiting receive relatively little media attention.

These barbaric and shameful acts of human cruelty inflicted upon innocent animals should not be allowed to continue in the United States. Help protect wild animals and demand that the horrific practices of penning and bear baiting be outlawed.


Dear Director Daniel Ashe,

The practices of penning and bear baiting involve the capture of wild animals. These animals are then forced into small pens, and are sometimes even tethered to one spot, where they must fight vicious, trained hunting dogs. A majority of the time, these horrifying fights result in agonizing deaths for the trapped animals that are defenseless to escape or fight back.

Much like dog fighting or cock fighting, these are cruel, inexcusable means of entertainment. Penning and bear baiting do less to train hunting dogs than they do to provide barbaric amusement for human onlookers.

These cruel practices must end. The United States is one of only two countries left that have not already outlawed such cruel wildlife sports. I strongly urge you to protect helpless wild animals and work towards banning penning and bear baiting in the United States.


[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Matt Reinbold via Flickr

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  1. J Davidson says:

    Pick on someone your own size. For shame, these animals are defenseless and innocent. Those who treat any living beings with such sadistic cruelty are cowards and should experience the terror of such atrocities themselves.

  2. Billy Holifield Billy Holifield says:

    You can judge a society by how it treats it’s animals, that said, we would be judged barbarians.

  3. Michelle Schmitt says:

    Words cannot express the horror that I feel when reading this article. I had thought these things only happened in very poor, uneducated third of the world countries.Why are wild animals somehow thought of as less important then domesticated animals When , in fact, they all need our protection and love. I cannot even imagine finding out that I lived next door to someone that engaged in or even condoned these kinds of things.If they were human it would be considered sociopathic serial killers. We need to fix this society before kill or be killed just becomes our way of life instead of an abomination.

  4. anthony wencke says:

    I have lived in a rural part of California my whole life. I see bears, mountain lions, foxes, coyote, and all other sort of wild life in my front yard. Yet I have never heard of such barbaric acts. If I ever do, someone is getting a beatdown.

  5. Jacob Dale Cleary says:

    I intend to see the poachers and wolf haters murdered in a most brutal gruesome violent way possible. Make the poachers beg for their lives before killing them.

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