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C.A.S.H. Letters to the Editor > 2004

C.A.S.H. Letters

RESIDENTS CLASH ON HUNTING BAN

4/19/04

Dear Cape Cod Times:

Re: "Residents clash on hunting ban" (4/15/04) and the follow-up article, "Most items approved" (4/16/04), Provincetown has once again refused to ban hunting and trapping in the Cape Cod National Seashore.

Provincetown, on its web site, calls itself "a community of iconoclasts, one of the most cosmopolitan, edgy, vibrant, creative places on earth," free of "small town minds." Provincetown impressed me with these qualities when I visited, which is why this provincial, reactionary decision is so dismaying.

The voice representing Provincetown's highest ideals, environmental advocate Peter Souza, was ignored by the "small minds.".

Your article, "Setting the rabies trap" (4/18/04), fails to mention who is responsible for the east coast's rabies outbreak - and the answer is not raccoons. Biologists believe that HUNTERS caused the spread of rabies by releasing rabid raccoons from Florida into West Virginia in the 1970's. Once established in West Virginia and Virginia, the disease then spread to MD, Washington D.C., DE, PA, NJ, throughout New England, and as far west as OH and south into NC.

It must have been an oversight that the Provincetown's Highland Fish & Game Club did not mention this unsavory bit of history at the town meeting.

What does hunting contribute to society?

* Hunting is not needed for subsistence.

* Hunting does not lower animal populations (except when it has caused threatened status or extinctions). Population number rebound after a hunt, as surviving animals increase their reproduction. When left alone, animals keep their numbers in balance with available resources.

* Hunting does not keep animal populations healthy. It exacerbates starvation by increasing population and by forcing animals to run off needed fat reserves. It removes the largest, healthiest animals from the gene pool.

* Hunting is environmentally destructive. Native plants are destroyed to grow plants that feed "game" animals and to build access roads for hunters.

* Hunting has no positive impact on the incidence of Lyme disease or rabies (and may increase both). It dramatically increases animal/car collisions, as terrified animals escape onto roads.

* Hunters routinely maim and kill each other, innocent members of the public, non-target animals, and companion animals, in addition to the animals they target.

* Hunting bears as much relation to sport as does child abuse.

In a nutshell, hunting is ethically indefensible and causes or exacerbates every problem it claims to solve.

Progressive, compassionate people all over the country are battling the serial animal killers; the fish and game agencies representing them (while ignoring the 96% of Americans who do not hunt), and the gun lobby, to protect animals, our environment, and public safety. A progressive community like Provincetown should be in the forefront of this fight for justice.

To learn more about the cruelty of hunting, go to www.all-creatures.org/cash

Susan Gordon, Representative
The Committee to Abolish Sport Hunting


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