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ID Sportsmen Draw a Bead on Canned Hunts

February 12, 2007

Canned hunts, game farms, shooter bull operations. It's a growing industry in Idaho that the legislature takes a closer look at this week. A coalition of sporting, recreation and conservation groups has proposed putting the brakes on those operations. Matt Wilson with the Idaho Sportsmen's Caucus Advisory Council says there are concerns about fair sport, animal disease and land grabs. He points to Texas as an example of how traditional public land hunting disappears when canned hunt operations move in.

"They have well over 500 of these game farms. There's virtually no public land to go hunt. It's a pay-to-hunt service in Texas."

Supporters of game farms say it's a private property right. Wilson notes that Montana outlawed game farms because of the threat of disease, and he says there's a long list of problems that crop up when wild animals are kept in pens.

"The threat of chronic wasting disease, giant liver flukes, meningeal worms, brucellosis, tuberculosis, genetic hybridization."

More information on the Idaho Sportsmen's Caucus Advisory Council is at Member groups include the Idaho Rifle & Pistol Assoc., Idaho Trappers Assoc., and Landowners and Sportsmen United.

Deborah Smith/Jamie Folsom, Public News Service - ID