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House Legislation

Sponsor(s): Steve Cohen (D-TN)

H.R. 2308 Sportsmanship in Hunting Act (Canned Hunts)

Purpose: This legislation bans the interstate commerce of exotic animals for the purpose of hunting and trophy collecting.

Status: Referred to the Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland Security.

Action: SUPPORT. Please contact your U.S. Representative and urge him or her to support H.R. 2308. Tell your Representative that "canned" shoots involve the trophy shooting of non-native mammals kept captive on fenced preserves. There is nothing sporting about shooting an animal trapped against a fence as this activity violates the hunters' ethic of "fair chase." Captive animals at canned shoots also can spread dangerous diseases to our native wildlife populations.

Talking Points for your letter:

  • H.R. 2308, the Sportsmanship in Hunting Act, will ban the interstate commerce of exotic animals for the purpose of "canned" hunting and trophy collecting.
  • Canned hunts take place in enclosed areas where exotic or native animals are confined, either by fence or wall, and hunted by those who pay a fee. Most canned hunt operations offer a guaranteed kill, as there is no way for hunted animals to escape from the enclosed area. Many of these animals are raised in close proximity to humans and have no fear of them, giving trophy hunters an easy target.
  • Canned hunting operations can pose a health threat to native wildlife. Diseases such as brucellosis, tuberculosis, and chronic wasting disease (similar to Mad Cow Disease) have been diagnosed in native and captive animals. The introduction of a disease into a wild population as a result of the escape of an animal from a canned hunt farm poses an unacceptable risk to our free-roaming wildlife. This can, in turn, pose a public health risk to humans.
  • H.R. 2308 would help to prevent zoos from selling their "surplus" animals either directly to canned hunting preserves or to middlemen, who later sell the animals to the hunts. In addition, this bill would reduce the development and transmission of diseases to native wildlife.
  • H.R. 2308 would build on the growing list of states that have banned canned hunts, including California, Delaware, Georgia, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Montana, Nevada, New Jersey, North Carolina, Oregon, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.

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