Right wrongs of our past

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Senate Bill 1221 exemplifies our country’s tradition of righting wrongs. If signed into law, it will ban hound hunting of bears and bobcats which can still be hunted and killed, but humans have to do the hunting — not their packs of marauding dogs.

“Sport” killing may be legal, but it requires fair chase, defined as “... taking a free-ranging wild animal in a manner that does not give the hunter an improper advantage over such animals” (Boone and Crockett Club, 1890s).

With a straight face, houndsmen claim their pack of hounds that chase a bear for miles is fair because the “hounds are barking.” Ignored are facts that a pack of dogs “gang” up on that one exhausted victim, trap it in a tree, and then they shoot it like fish in a barrel. This is not “fair chase” by any measure, including decency.

Additionally, the packs of hounds also maul or kill non-targeted fawns or cubs and introduce wildlife diseases. These atrocities can no longer be allowed. One freedom in a democracy includes an obligation to end shameful traditions as we have throughout America’s history. SB 1221’s time has come to do just that.

Jim Cather, Loomis