“We are going to use the ballot box and the democratic process to stop all hunting in the United States… We will take it species by species until all hunting is stopped in California. Then we will take it state by state.” Full Cry Magazine, Oct. 1, 1990
Those were the words of Wayne Pacelle, the current CEO of the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS). Add 20 years, a slick black suit, a bigger budget, and his intentions are still the same. While leading the nation’s largest animal rights group, Pacelle has made it a top goal to target and ban certain hunting practices.
HSUS has worked to eliminate the traditions of American sportsmen in several states across the nation. Most recently, HSUS supported banning the practice of using hunting dogs to hunt bears and bobcats in California. In 2006, they successfully defeated a ballot measure that would have returned to Michigan hunters, the right to hunt mourning doves.
HSUS knows an attempt to completely ban hunting would never work, politically. Instead, their idea is to label and isolate specific practices within hunting to create emotional media attention to mislead voters, while ignoring scientific facts and conservation needs. Every time a law gets passed to eliminate specific hunting practices, HSUS gets closer and closer to their ultimate goal – the elimination of all hunting.
When it comes to HSUS and Wayne Pacelle, we think Laura Numeroff said it best, in her popular 1985 children’s book:
‘If you give a mouse a cookie. He’s going to ask for a glass of milk.’
Pacelle wrote this entry in his online blog after HSUS claimed victory over banning the use of dogs while hunting bears and bobcats in California,
“It’s especially sweet for me because I’ve been wishing for this day now for 20 years, since I first starting working on this issue as a very young man in 1989. It’s been a long time coming, but it shows that persistence pays off.” Pacelle’s Blog Post, Sept. 26, 2012
Now, they have moved on to the backyard of their Washington D.C. headquarters and are promoting anti-hunting legislation in the state of Virginia. Senate Bill (SB) 1280 was written to outlaw fox preserves and ban the construction of certain types of pens that might be used for foxhound training. This bill attempts to dictate what Virginia citizens can and cannot build on their own private property, calling into question the constitutionality of the bill.
Virginia State Senator Dave Marsden is the sponsor of HSUS-backed SB 1280. In December 2012, Senator Marsden received the legislator of the year award from HSUS. His close working relationship with HSUS is no secret. Upon receiving the award, he said, “I am proud to stand with HSUS in their efforts.” With Senator Marsden as HSUS’s point man in the Virginia Senate, SB 1280 recently passed on a 27-16 vote and will now be sent to the Virginia House of Delegates for their consideration.
HSUS is targeting Virginia’s fox preserves as a way to gather momentum and support. Their patterns are predictable. Michigan hunters’ first battle with HSUS was in 2006, and now the animal rights group is back with a new set of hunting restrictions. If HSUS is successful in Virginia, it just opens the doors for a future, more aggressive, assault. They will not stop until their radical agenda has truly been spread from “state to state.”
You may be thinking to yourself, “I don’t live in Virginia. How does this affect me?”
HSUS may not be in your state at the moment, but make no mistake; they are just around the corner. HSUS’s attack on Virginia hunters is an attack on all American hunters.
If you would like to help defend America’s hunters and encourage the Virginia House of Delegates to stand strong for individual liberty and property rights you can contact the chair of the Agriculture Chesapeake and Natural Resources,
Beverly J. Sherwood:
Capitol Office Phone: (804) 698-1029
Email Address: DelBSherwood@house.virginia.gov