by Kyle Wintersteen - Wednesday, May 23, 2012
The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) owes everything, from its occasional victories to its very existence, to lying. Consider the following: It has built up a huge war chest to push anti-hunting legislation and lawsuits by convincing donors it's affiliated with similarly named animal shelters (in reality HSUS donates just 1 percent of its budget to shelters). It led Michigan voters to confuse mourning doves with white doves. It has fought to ban the breeding of hunting dogs by lumping reputable kennels in with puppy mills.
And, most recently, it convinced the senate of California that the use of hounds to hunt bears and bobcats is somehow unique to the state, cruel and lacking in scientific wildlife management. In reality 60 percent of states with bear seasons allow the use of hounds; hounds are used by state biologists to humanely reduce bear populations and remove problem bears; and most years California hound hunters aren't even able to kill the number of bears recommended by biologists to maintain healthy populations.
But that doesn't matter to HSUS. On Monday evening the California senate voted along party lines to pass SB 1221, an HSUS-sponsored bill, that would ban the use of hounds to hunt bears and bobcats. The bill now moves on to the state assembly for a vote. If it passes there, a hunting tradition as old as the first California hunting laws faces extinction.
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