Protecting Your Freedom to Hunt Around the World

SCI - Who We Are

As we celebrated our freedoms on July 4th, SCI’s Advocacy and Communications teams reflected on our role in defending the freedom to hunt.  We are proud to stand up for hunting rights, for every species, everywhere in the world.

Unfortunately, attacks on hunting rights are everywhere.  In Colorado last week, proponents of a ban on mountain lion hunting turned in signatures to get the measure before voters come November.  Colorado’s wildlife management agency has already made clear that the State’s mountain lion and bobcat populations are healthy, and are managed through regulated hunting.  But supporters of the ballot initiative ignore the science—and the fact that, if the measure passes, mountain lions will still be killed, through vehicle strikes and depredation control.  SCI has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars to oppose the initiative and to protect regulated hunting as a tool to manage abundant wildlife populations.

As another example, last week the National Park Service prohibited the hunting of black bears over bait on National Preserves in Alaska.  SCI fought a similar restriction in court.  We will likely be back in court over the new rule.  A federal judge already recognized that harvest over bait does not pose a safety or conservation concern.  Despite that ruling, anti-hunters in the Park Service have pushed through a rule that is opposed by the State, as well as Alaska Native communities and Alaska citizens.  While very few bears are likely to be harvested over bait, SCI will fight this restriction to avoid “death by a thousand cuts”—a favorite strategy of anti-hunters.

One more example: this week, SCI joins representatives from the 184 Parties to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), as well as many other intergovernmental and nongovernmental organizations, at the 33rd CITES Animals Committee meeting in Geneva.  CITES regulates the international trade in species as diverse as sharks and rays to elephant and tigers, as well as plants.  SCI has participated in the CITES process for many years because CITES permits are used to ensure that international trade in hunted animals is sustainable and regulated, and because CITES documents recognize the benefits that regulated hunting can create for wildlife.  SCI has vigorously opposed efforts by animal rights groups to make CITES—what is essentially a trade agreement—into an instrument of animal protectionism, such as successfully combatting the inclusion of hippo populations as an endangered species on the CITES lists.  While this Animals Committee meeting does not contain any immediate proposals to increase protectionism and reduce regulated hunting, SCI will be there to ensure that hunting rights are defended and 

SCI’s mission is to defend the freedom to hunt—from elk to elephant, rabbits to rhinos.  We stand up for all legal, regulated hunters.  And as we chowed down on our deer sausage, we recognized and appreciated all the members and advocates who help us serve this mission.

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