June 1, 2020

Oregon Hunters Jump In Bed With HSUS

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On the heels of the debate in full swing in Idaho, members of a hunting organization in Oregon have stooped so low as to be partnering up with their biggest enemy, the Humane Society of the United States. The Oregon Hunters Association, along with the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, has teamed up with HSUS to put an end to elk farming there.

Using the events in eastern Idaho last summer where elk escaped a ranch there, the unlikely and disturbing coalition is using much of the same misinformation to instill unfounded fear in the people in order to ban elk farming. It is very sad that groups these days, like HSUS, OHA and RMEF, believe that it is American to yank the livelihoods out from under hard working people for reasons not found viable through science.

The MAD-Elk Coalition – HSUS, OHA and RMEF – sent two petitions to the Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission for consideration. The options of the OFWC are varied and open-ended. They can discharge the petitions, recommend to proceed toward rule changes or just about anything in between. The OFWC denied both petitions stating that before any consideration be made for rule changes, more discussion on the topic needs to be addressed.

From the Statesman Journal.

Members of the Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission voted unanimously to deny three petitions to change elk-ranching rules for the state.

The consensus was that the issues surrounding the commercial ranching of elk need more discussion before such petitions could be considered.

“We are fortunate in Oregon to have clean wild and farmed populations as far as elk are concerned,” said Zane Smith, a commission member from Springfield. “There are a number of issues that I feel need more consideration before we trigger rule-making.”

The seven members asked biologists and other officials with the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife to come back at the February commission meeting with recommendations.

Among the issues they were told to consider are the affects of any rule changes, the groups affected by any changes, and a time frame for them to draft and present any recommended rules.

The third petition was one presented to the Commission from a group of Oregon elk breeders.

The two petitions submitted to OFWC call for either ending all commercial elk farms by the year 2012 or capping the limit on farms to 16 and providing for the eventual dismantling of the industries through the inability to transfer ownership in any way.

While it is encouraging to see that the OFWC isn’t interested in jumping into this issue and running roughshod over the elk industry, it is disturbing that once again, like in Idaho, hunting organizations have opted to team up with the likes of the Humane Society of the United States.

Making decisions such as this to ban a clean and safe industry, should not be taken likely. This has to be based strictly on science and whether it can be proven to be a valid and large enough health risk to both humans and other wildlife, to warrant a stripping of one’s rights as an American.

Teaming up with an organization that is systematically using divide and conquer tactics along with chipping away at one small aspect of hunting at a time, is flat-out wrong. I never thought I would live long enough to see the day that true sportsmen would consider HSUS a partner in the preservation of our hunting heritage.

Tom Remington

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