The Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission unanimously adopted a rule to prohibit the export of captive-raised deer and elk to facilities in states that allow captive shoots, also known as canned hunts. The rule takes effect on January 1, 2009.
“Animal advocates, hunters, and wildlife managers agree that captive shoots are unethical, unsporting, and biologically reckless. There is something profoundly offensive about shooting animals trapped inside a fence who have learned to think of humans as their keepers,” said Kelly Peterson, Oregon state director for The Humane Society of the United States. “We are grateful to the Fish and Wildlife Commission for leading the charge against trafficking animals as live, tame trophies to canned hunts.”
Twenty-three states ban or restrict canned hunting. Oregon prohibits hunting within fenced enclosures for cervids, exotic mammals and game mammals.
Captive shoots are held at private trophy hunting facilities where hunters pay to kill tame, captive, exotic animals — even endangered species — as guaranteed trophies, since the animals have no chance of escape.
Animals on captive shooting facilities often come from private breeders, animal dealers, and even zoos and circuses. Frequently, the animals have been hand-raised and bottle-fed, so they have lost their fear of people.
Many hunting groups are critical of captive shoots because sportsmanship and fair chase are absent, and because transporting these animals across state lines can spread diseases to native wildlife populations.
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