Born Free USA position: Oppose
Update: This bill died in the Senate in March 2014.
Bill description: This bill would authorize the Department of Fish & Wildlife to recommend rules to establish a five-year pilot program to pursue or kill cougars with the aid of dogs in select counties. Dangerous wildlife task teams would be developed in each of these counties to help establish a pursuit season and a kill season.
Background: There is no evidence to indicate that hunting large mammals reduces human conflicts with these species. Public education and humane non-lethal deterrents have proven effective in reducing conflicts, and there already exists the ability to remove individual animals that don’t respond to deterrents or who appear to pose a threat to human safety.
Culling populations is actually ineffective. When population levels suddenly drop, the increase in resources available to the remaining members allows them to reproduce more quickly, thereby returning the population to its original size.
Additionally, hounding is a brutal practice:
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