Colorado lawmakers reject ban on ‘canned hunts’ for wild animals |

Colorado lawmakers reject ban on ‘canned hunts’ for wild animals

Steven K. PaulsonThe Associated PressAspen, CO Colorado

DENVER Lawmakers killed a bill Wednesday that would have made it illegal to kill wildlife while they are penned in after sports groups and ranchers said it would hurt their industries.Rep. Debbie Stafford, D-Aurora, said so-called “canned hunts” are unfair and inhumane.Her bill (House Bill 1096) would have prohibited hunting any mammal that is intentionally restricted from its normal movement, either .It would have allowed exceptions for slaughtering a mammal for meat, leather, or fur or humanely euthanizing a mammal for health, safety, or scientific purposes.Violators would have been subject to a fine of up to $25,000 and loss of hunting privileges.Holly Tarry, Colorado director of the Humane Society of the United States, said hunts in restricted areas should be banned.”We think it’s unethical, unfair and unsporting,” she told lawmakers.Anne Draper, spokeswoman for the Colorado Elk Breeders Association, told lawmakers her family owns 10,000 acres on the Bear Mountain Ranch near Kremmling where they raise elk and bison. She said lawmakers changed the law several years ago for alternative livestock to help ranchers who cannot raise hay to supplement their income allowing hunters to use their land.She said animal rights groups have mischaracterized alternative livestock.”They are an agricultural product. They are not the same as you will see running around in the wild,” she told the House Agriculture, Livestock, & Natural Resources Committee.

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