Monday, April 23, 2012

SB 1221 - hunting with hounds (letter)

California State Senate
Committee on Natural Resources and Water
State Capital, Room 4035
Sacramento, CA 95814
Fax: 916-323-2232
Re: SB 1221 (Lieu) Hunting with hounds: OPPOSE.
Request to be listed as official opposition
April 20, 2012
Dear Senator Pavley and committee members,
The California Federation of Dog Clubs, founded in 1990, represents thousands of dog owners across our state. We are advocates for animal welfare and for protecting the rights of responsible dog owners. The CFoDC conducts breed identification workshops for shelter workers, distributes a dog care and training brochure for new owners who adopt from shelters, and provides a 1-800 help line for pet owners struggling with behavior or training problems. We also maintain and administer a relief fund for animals affected by disasters such as earthquakes or fires. CFoDC supports animal legislation which positively benefits society.
The CFoDC is OPPOSED to SB 1221. The sponsors of this bill allege that the use of hounds is inhumane, unsporting and unfair.  Unfortunately, the information they use to support this bill comes from anti-hunting organizations that have no motivation to be truthful about the practice. 
Hunting with hounds is not only humane but a sensible and valuable tool for wildlife managment. Hound hunting is virtually the only form of non-consumptive hunting, and is very similar to catch-and-release fishing. It allows an animal's age and sex to be determined before any attempt to harvest is made. It also allows a houndsman to determine if a female is pregnant, nursing, or has offspring so that they can be left alive and well in the tree. The use of hounds allows for the timely and accurate resolution of incidents involving threats to public safety or livestock by identifying, locating, and taking only the offending animal. 
Not only is this bill unreasonable as a hunting and wildlife management measure, but it places the lives of our dogs in danger. Any dog felt to be a threat to a "big game mammal" can be captured and/or "dispatched" (i.e. KILLED) by game wardens, and the owner of the dog would have no recourse. We urge you to reject SB 1221.
Sincerely yours,
Geneva Coats, R.N.
Secretary,California Federation of Dog Clubs
CC: Fran Pavley, Doug LaMalfa, Anthony Cannella, Noreen Evans, Jean Fuller, Christine Kehoe, Alex Padilla, Joe Simitian, Lois Wolk

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