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The C.A.S.H. Courier

ARTICLE from the Spring 2009 Issue

Hiking And Hunting – Not A Good Mix

HAWAII LEGISLATION TO WATCH: The state senate has adopted HCR 60, a resolution calling for discussions about the safe use of hunting dogs on public trails.

Wild pig hunters believe that their right to hunt with dogs is about to be taken from them; while non-hunting members of the public note the danger to themselves and their pets when they encounter hunters on the shared trails. Several recent accounts in the media of pet pigs being savagely killed by dogs and human hunters – one on the grounds of an animal sanctuary, another on private family property – have fueled the call to establish a committee to look into the problem.

The state senate has adopted HCR 60, a resolution calling for discussions about the safe use of hunting dogs on public trails. Hunters fear the deck is stacked against them, with more testimonials from non-hunters posted on the legislature’s website than from hunters.

The non-hunting population is concerned not only with the dangers posed by hunting dogs, but also the sad cases of dog abandonment. Some hunters dump their unwanted dogs, leaving them to starve when they’ve outlived their usefulness.

“Dogs don’t know what is private property and what isn’t,” said Sherry Broder, whose pet pot-bellied pig was mauled to death by hunting dogs despite being in a protective enclosure of four-foot high fencing. The dogs simply climbed over the fence.

Broder maintains that it is “irresponsible” of the Department of Land and Natural Resources to allow hunting dogs access to public trails. Some citizens hope that opening a dialogue between the opposing groups will lead to mutual understanding. This dialogue needs to include the animal’s perspective. That will happen as animal protectors participate in the legislative process.

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