It’s no surprise that animal rights activists don’t like hunting or fishing.

But you may be surprised to know that the Humane Society of The United States (HSUS) is one of the nation’s most outspoken anti-hunting organizations.

Wayne Pacelle, CEO of HSUS, previously stated:

“If we could shut down all sport hunting in a moment, we would.”

Anti-Hunting From the Top Down

The leadership of the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), most notably President and CEO Wayne Pacelle, have toned down their rhetoric in recent years in order to appear more mainstream.

Pacelle got his start with Fund For Animals in the early 1990s. Back then, Pacelle and his group would purposefully disrupt hunters and hunts:

“Wayne Pacelle has been shot at, arrested and had his life threatened at least 24 times… ‘I’ve been in situations where hunters have shot at me and assaulted me with their guns’… At the Heggins annual pigeon shoot in Pennsylvania, Pacelle and 90 other supporters were arrested for releasing 500 pigeons… ‘There is no need to kill animals in 1992. We don’t need traps for fur and hunting done for sport. Today, 99.8 percent of all animal killing is done for the entertainment of humans, not survival.”  (The Desert News, 10 May 1992).

Pacelle’s also been quoted as saying:

 “Our goal is to get sport hunting in the same category as cock fighting and dog fighting.” (Bozeman Daily Chronicle 8 October 1991).


“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, 1 October 1990).

Pacelle has specifically referenced using the NRA as a model for his organization, despite his vehement disagreement with the NRA’s policies.

“I find the NRA’s views on hunting and other issues to be really at odds with my own, but I admire the fact that they train thousands of activists across the country to achieve so much working through the system.” (Satya, June/July 2005)


“Hunting? I think you will see a steady decline in numbers, and we’ll see the elimination of particularly extreme practices like canned hunts and baiting.” (Washington Post, 9 August 2004)


Anti-Hunting Policy Advocacy

Pacelle and his group have been busy putting their beliefs into practice, slowly restricting hunting practices throughout the country.

“We’ve banned…hound hunting in four states and…banned leg-hold trapping and other forms of body gripping traps in five states.” Wayne Pacelle, (Satya June/July 2005)

HSUS continually trumpets their so-called ‘successes’ in restricting the rights and freedoms of American hunters. An  entire list of HSUS’s anti-hunting policies would be too long to list, but here’s just a few current examples of HSUS’s activities:

  • Encourage the use of deer-contraceptives instead of hunting
  • (Unsuccessfully) Attempting to outlaw wolf hunting in Michigan
  • (Unsuccessfully) Seeking to ban bear hunting in Maine
  • Strongly supported the effort to ban lead ammunition in California

Anti-Fishing Policy Advocacy

Anglers are a vital part of our economy and conservation efforts.  There are more than 33 million American anglers who help support 828,000 US jobs and provide more than $115 Billion to our economy.  However, even though 95% of Americans support legal fishing, animal rights extremists are using state legislatures to crack down on fishing.

Since 1998, Maine, Massachusetts and New Hampshire have passed bans on lead fishing weights.  Connecticut, New York, Vermont and Washington have considered doing the same.

On January 17, 2013, Maine State Representative Paul Davis introduced legislation to prohibit the use of rubber lures for fishing.

Animal rights groups PETA and the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) have even called for restrictions on deep-sea fishing and shark hunts.

Anti-Hunting Charitable Advocacy

HSUS is using its considerable wealth to begin restricting the amount of land available to hunters. Through its Wildlife Land Trust, HSUS entices people to donate conservation “easements” on their land. Under the terms of the agreement, the easements ban all hunting and trapping in perpetuity. (Thinking Afield, 31 May 2012).

According to its website, the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) has accumulated over two million acres of land in 38 states and eight foreign countries into its Wildlife Land Trust program.