View Full Version : ANTIS ON THE MOVE

06-06-2003, 03:52 PM
Just got this today. It has VA listed primarily, but it concerns alot of other state's bills (failed, pending, and passed).

Dear Virginia Sportsmen:

This is a periodic update from the Sportsmen's and Animal Owners' Voting Alliance (SAOVA) about the threats to our hunting and animal ownership traditions posed by the animal rightists (AR). If you've never received an email alert or update from us before, you might want to visit http://saova.org to learn more about us. Anti-gun groups, such as Handgun Control, Inc., have suffered major political losses in the last four years and no longer present a significant threat to sportsmen, except when they join with the Humane Society of the US (HSUS) and its allied AR groups, which are substantially better funded, supported, managed and more numerous. For a discussion on this, see ex-NRA-ILA Deputy Director John Aquilino's The Truth About the Anti's http://www.wildecology.ifcnr.com/article.cfm?NewsID=254

Likewise, the federal level threat has also receded, as George W. Bush's 2000 election brought pro-sportsmen into the Interior and Agriculture Departments' leadership positions. In the 2002 elections, sixteen animal rightist sympathetic legislators were defeated, including key committee chairman Sen Bob Smith (R-NH), Sen Robert Torricelli (D-NJ) and Sen Zell Miller (D-GA). There are currently circus, horse slaughter, animal fighting and bear baiting bills before the US Congress, which are sponsored by 50-90 AR legislators. Much of this is old ground, covered in previous SAOVA messages.

By necessity, the AR movement has shifted the bulk of its efforts to the states, where sportsmen groups aren't well organized and are politically less sophisticated. AR litigation against hunting continues, in Massachusetts, Wisconsin and over the federal refuges, but it rarely represents anything more than long odds nuisance efforts designed to generate publicity and increase donations. Anti-hunting and anti-farming AR efforts are part of a much larger agenda which, in many instances numbers 14-16 bills in some state capitols. There have also been serious attempts to politically interfere with existing wildlife professional management in ID, MA, NJ, NM and VA. HUMANE USA PAC, the chief AR political vehicle, not only endorses federal candidates, last year it endorsed local candidate slates in ten states and it is expected to be active in this fall's Virginia and New Jersey elections.

A few local bills are highlighted here. Hundreds more may be viewed at http://www.hsus.org/ace/702 Most of the AR's 2003 anti-hunting efforts have been reactive, opposing state right to hunt initiatives, expanded hunting seasons, repeal of prior ballot victories, or increased hunting opportunities. However in several instances, they attacked hunters directly, attempting to ban existing legal hunting or trapping in CA, MD, NJ, and RI.

Selected State Legislation Affecting Hunters and Animal Owners
Partial Report, Status as of June 1, 2003

CA Hound Hunting Ban Failed
CA Dove Hunting Ban Withdrawn
CA Cat Declaw Ban Failed
CA Pound Animal Research Prohibition Withdrawn
CA Swine Gestation Pen Ban Withdrawn
CT License Cat Breeders - Failed
IA Allow Shooting of Strays - Failed
MD Anti-Trapping Bill Failed
MD Allow Sunday Hunting Passed
MD Bear Hunting Ban Failed
NH Increase License Fees to Fund Spay/Neuter - Failed
NJ Five Year Bear Hunting Moratorium Failed
MT Allow Cougar Dog Hunting Passed
MT Allow Bison Hunting Passed
MT Right to Hunt Initiative Passed
VA Ease Animal Rescue Regulation Passed
VA Ease Stray-Lost Dog Euthanasia - Failed
WI Right to Hunt Initiative - Passed

AR Right to Hunt Initiative Failed
CT Allow Sunday Hunting Failed
CT Dog Tether Restrictions - Passed
IL Pet Population Control - Passed
IN Coyote Bounty Failed
IN Right to Hunt Initiative Failed
MN New Dove Hunting Season Failed
TX Allow Horse Slaughter for Overseas Sales Failed
TX Penalize Animal Rights Terrorism Failed
TX Animal Seizure & Cost Recovery Passed
VA Multiple Anti-owner Bills - Passed
WA Repeal of Trapping Ban- Vetoed
WV Allow Bear Dog Hunting - Failed

Pending *
Al Prevents Farming Nuisance Suits
CA $0.10 Tax on Every Cartridge and Shotshell
CA Encourages Landowners to Allow Hunting
CT DEP Nuisance Wildlife Control
GA Allow Alligator Hunting
GA Restrict Deer Dog Hunting
IN Dog Tether Restriction
IL Public Land Hunting and Trapping Heritage Act
IL Designate Veal Production as Cruelty
IL .50 caliber Ban
IL Humane Treatment of Nuisance Wildlife
LA Right to Hunt Initiative (failed previously)
MA Allow Moose Hunting
MA Allow Sunday Hunting
MA Removes Sportsman Majority from Wildlife Board
MA Various Local Wildlife Regulations to Supercede State Regulation
MI Increased Sunday Hunting Opportunities
MI Lowers Some License Age Requirements
NJ Add Animal Rightists to Fish & Game Council
NJ Allow Sunday Hunting (also separate bow hunting bill)
NJ Deer Management Revisions, incl. non-lethal control
NJ Multiple "Welfare-Cruelty-Non-Economic Damage" Bills
NJ Designate Veal Production as Cruelty
NY Multiple Deer Management Revisions, incl. non-lethal control
NY Sets Dog House Specifications
NY Multiple Local Trapping Controls Supercede State Statute
NY Humane Treatment of Nuisance Wildlife
NY Apply Animal Cruelty Laws to Wildlife
NY Penalize Animal Rights Terrorism
OR Repeal of Bear/Cougar Hound Hunting Ban (Veto threatened)
OR Multiple Wolf, Bear, Cougar Hunting Bills
PA Allow Sunday Hunting
PA Allow Fox Pens
RI Dove Hunting Ban
RI Omnibus Second Generation "Animal Guardian" Bill
SC Allow Year-around Raccoon Dog Hunting
UT Allow Wolf Hunting
WI Allow Fox & Coyote Pens

* Omits scores of animal ownership, greyhound, animal fighting and circus bills.

One expects the animal rightists to be very active in the legislatures of southern New England, New York, New Jersey and Illinois. The real positive surprises were in California and Maryland. Both states are correctly perceived to be very liberal and not terribly sympathetic to hunting sportsmen. Eight years of liberal reign in Annapolis was marked by the departure of much of the MDNR's top professional staff, as that AR sympathetic administration pursued its "non-lethal" wildlife agenda. The 1998 creation of the politically activist Maryland Sportsmen's Association and its related legislative caucus were shortly followed by the defeat of the House Speaker and the election of a sportsmen-supportive Governor. This past session, Maryland's General Assembly not only defeated an anti-trapping measure, it opened up limited Sunday hunting for the first time in its history and left the door open for its first bear season ever, all over the ARs strenuous objections.

The California Assembly's March-April rejection of two AR bills to ban dove and hound hunting was a remarkable, cooperative milestone achievement. All the major hunting-conservation groups, our farmer allies, registries and thousands of sportsmen, inside California as well as across the US, were involved in defeating these measures. These direct assaults on hunting were generally seen as leading edge of the AR groups' acknowledged plan to ban hunting, one species at a time, first in California, followed by other states. At the forefront of this battle were the CA Game Commission, the CA Fish and Game Department and the state's sportsmen advisory committee members.

What made these remarkable victories possible was the broad cooperative support of the entire sporting community, something not seen in the defeat of Minnesota's possible dove season or elsewhere. The most shocking losses thus far this year have been in Texas, where not only were the two US horse slaughter plants shutdown over the objections of the farm and animal owner community, an animal terrorism bill was defeated and a pro-AR measure passed. The Texas defeats demonstrate that no state is imperious to such attacks. Fortunately, if they can be struck down as they were in California and Maryland, organized and informed sportsmen and their allies can prevail anywhere.

The ALF and SHAC animal terrorist groups continued active this year, firebombing, destroying property and vandalizing a research laboratory. A recent FBI raid was reported, but these dangerous shadow groups persist, much like Muslim extremists. An outstanding March 2002 complaint to the IRS over PETA's financial support of ALF arrestees threatens PETA's tax exempt status; perhaps we'll see that decision soon. An interesting food industry on-going response to AR attacks may be found at http://www.consumerfreedom.com/

The Sportsmen's and Animal Owners' Voting Alliance has reviewed the 2004 federal political landscape and concluded that there are several potentially interesting campaigns. We are seeking volunteers in Florida, Georgia and Illinois, but welcome all to the fight to gain better representation and defenders of our traditions. Please be sure to vote in the Virginia primaries on Tuesday, June 10th. Thank you.

Bob Kane
Sportsmen's and Animal Owners' Voting Alliance