Animal Writes
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From 26 October 2003 Issue

Fund for Animals Warns That Hunting Can Be Fatal
--And Not Just for the Animals
The Fund for Animals

Silver Spring, MD -- Hunting season is here again, and The Fund for Animals, a national animal protection organization with more than 200,000 members and supporters nationwide, warns that hunting can be a deadly pastime for humans as well as animals.

Hunters often make the claim that hunting causes fewer injuries per participant than many other sports, but Michael Markarian, President of The Fund for Animals, points out, "While injuries may occur during sports ranging from football to ping pong, those injuries are generally not on a par with gunshot or arrow wounds. And they usually don’t result in fatalities to non-participants who are enjoying the outdoors or even their own property—as hunting does."

In Maryland, it is the threat to non-hunters that has raised public scrutiny over recent decisions to increase hunting activities—including a controversial new regulation allowing the use of crossbows and a bill signed into law by Governor Robert Ehrlich that allows hunting on Sundays for the first time in centuries. Also, a recent ruling by Maryland's Supreme Court that leaders of hunting parties are not liable for accidental shootings by other hunters in their groups does not add any incentive for hunters to practice increased safety measures.

Added Markarian, "Sundays used to be safe for horseback riding, hiking, camping, and other outdoor activities, but non-hunters in Maryland will be stuck at home more than ever this fall if they don’t want to risk being shot." The crossbow and bow-hunting season for deer is currently underway in Maryland, with the shotgun/rifle season commencing on November 29. The two Sundays on which hunting will take place this year, for the first time, are November 2 and 30.

The Fund recommends exercising extreme caution when venturing out into the woods during hunting season. Be sure to wear at least one item of bright orange clothing. If you see hunters trespassing in a posted "No Hunting" zone, do not confront them as they are carrying weapons and might shoot intentionally or accidentally. Instead, contact the Natural Resources Police at 800-628-9944 and ask them to investigate. Try to collect as much information as possible on your own, such as license plate numbers, descriptions of the people involved, and photos or videos of any illegal activity.

Go on to Pass the Buck! Tips on How to Reduce Deer/Auto Collisions
Return to 26 October 2003 Issue
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