Porky & Buddy’s Pet Health: Game Hunting

Dear Porky & Buddy,

I saw an ad on Craigslist that invited people to come hunt for “big game” at something called a “game preserve.” The ad didn’t stay up on Craislist for long so I never had a chance to check it out, and I know you are mostly about pets, but is that legal?

Dear Bill,

This is in the category of shocking but true. Canned hunts of mammals are legal in New York State, except that “big game non-native animals” cannot be tied, hobbled, staked or attached to a stationary object or “confined in a box, pen, cage or similar container of 10 or less contiguous acres from which there is no means for such mammal to escape”. The animal also cannot be released in front of the person who will be shooting or spearing it. They are covered by Section 11-1900 of the Environmental Conservation Law of New York.

The sad truth is that people make a lot of money running “hunting preserves” that are licensed by the state and where pretty much anything goes as long as they have more than 10 acres. (Ten acres is roughly 2080 by 2080 feet. That’s not very far to run.)

A bill that would have banned canned hunts in New York entirely was passed by the state legislature but was vetoed by then Gov. George Pataki in 2003. Four subsequent attempts to ban canned hunts in New York have also failed, including a bill introduced in 2009 that would have amended the current law and make it illegal to hunt big game non-native animals that are “in a fenced or other area” from where there is no means of escape. It would eliminate canned hunts of big game non-native mammals in New York.

Yes, we are all about pets, but we do not hesitate to stick our cold wet noses into issues faced by our wild(er) brothers and sisters and so should you. Contact your state assembly person and senator to let them know your opinion. It’s not just a New York State issue of course. You can read about the national issue at http://www.humanesociety.org/issues/captive_hunts/ and then contact your federal legislators and give them a piece of your mind too. And tell them that Porky and Buddy agree with you and we vote!

The Oswego County Humane Society provides spay/neuter services and assistance, fostering and adoption of animals in urgent need, humane education programs, and information and referrals to animal lovers throughout Oswego County. Our office is located at 265 West First Street, Oswego, New York. Phone (315) 207-1070. Email:[email protected] Website: www.oswegohumane.org.