By Phil Riske | Senior Reporter/Writer
(Editor’s note: Opinion pieces are published for discussion purposes only.)
As a person who has mourned the loss of seven pet cats, my whiskers sensed an important issue of animal rights and politics on the horizon.
As you might have read, the Humane Society of the United States is moving to get Arizona voters to outlaw the practice of “trophy hunting” of mountain lions. The group’s proposal for the next year’s General Election ballot would make it illegal to “pursue, shoot, snare, net or capture any wild cat,” specifically bobcats and mountain lions. It’s estimated there are about 2,500 mountain lions in Arizona.
I have several trophies on the shelf for past athletic and other accomplishments, but none is an animal bagged in a hunt. I fail to understand the bragging rights shown by hunters who display stuffed prey on the walls of their dens. I would make a small exception if the animal were killed for its meat, but there’s always the grocery store or deli for such.
“People no longer really tolerate trophy hunting,” Kellye Pinkleton, Arizona’s Humane Society’s state director, told Capitol Media Services.
She said the initiative would still permit killing of mountain lions and certain wild cats in cases where they were endangering humans or killing other animals, whether a rancher’s cattle or the bighorn sheep.
Advocates of the proposed initiative will have to gather 150,642 valid signatures on petitions to get the issue on the ballot at a cost of $3-5M.
Sign me up. There are nothing more beautiful on God’s Green Earth than the big cats. For God’s sake, let’s not slay them.