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[OPINION] The cat’s out of the bag . . . and onto the ballot

Posted by   /  September 28, 2017  /  2 Comments

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From the Rose Law Group Reporter Growlery

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.

Although already protected as endangered species, the language of the ban also would apply to jaguars, lynx and ocelot.

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.

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2 Comments

  1. Great opinion, Phil!

    The time (long overdue) has come to finally end the atrocities committed to Arizona’s Mountain lions and Bobcats at the hands of vile hunters and Arizona’s Outfitters!

    Arizona Game and Fish Department and the United States Forest Service condone and promote the savagery. Both organizations have failed to conduct predator management in a humane manner, for years.

    We must provide these majestic predators the protection they deserve.

    WE must stand as ONE against the massive hunting world and support Arizonans for Wildlife and the Humane Society of the United States!

  2. Outstanding….finally a first salvo to get the “Big Cat” Cougar and Bobcat Lynx and Jaguar (moving up into the USA) all on and protected species or endangered list and get the state governments out of the big business of predator control. Must change the sport/trophy mentality to empathy for the cats. And start a move to ecotourism, a much better alternative and time to stop the primitive old school mentality that our environment and animals cannot sustain with the human population explosion.

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