Anti-hunting organizations are more desperate than ever to smear hunting and hunters, and they’re actively working to spread falsehoods about hunting and the positive impact it can have on wildlife conservation and rural communities around the world – all in order to turn the public against hunting and to pressure politicians to vote for misguided and harmful legislation that whittles away at the foundation of the world-wide hunting community by one regulation or policy change at a time. The anti-hunting movement isn’t all loud protests or overt calls to end all hunting, as many of these organizations operate quietly through subtle digital disinformation campaigns or behind the scenes at the legislative level.
While these groups may be unrelenting, SCI remains diligent, as it has for 50 years, to preserve the freedom to hunt. To that end, SCI has officially launched an ongoing “Hunt The Facts“ campaign to highlight how hunters in America and the world serve a crucial role in protecting habitat and wildlife conservation while offering tangible benefits to the communities and countries in which they hunt.
SCI is committed to fighting for hunters on every front. This includes confronting anti-hunting propaganda on the internet and in the news with scientifically proven facts about the symbiotic relationship between hunting and conservation. SCI keeps elected officials informed about the harm to wildlife that poorly considered legislation can do, like the CECIL Act.
These battles are not new for SCI, as so many SCI members already know. Most recently, SCI’s government relations team led the fight in the California State Assembly to push back against SB 1175, a poorly masked and expensive attempt to ban the import of legally harvested animals in range states outside the U.S. It is vital that California state legislators know that such a ban would reduce revenue streams to African conservation initiatives, and that to take up such a costly measure at a time when California is in the midst of a $54.3 billion budget deficit is nothing short of irresponsible.
Additionally, earlier this year SCI’s conservation team spearheaded communication efforts with Botswanan wildlife officials to inform the public about the country’s renewed hunting policy as a scientifically-backed method of balancing human and wildlife cohabitation that also incentivizes rural communities to take part in conservation.
Late last year, SCI fought for, and was ultimately successful, in advocating for a clearer and more flexible criteria for delisting animals from the Endangered Species List once the species has clearly recovered. The new rule as set forth by Interior Secretary David Bernhardt removed the one-size-fits-all blanket restrictions for “threatened” species and will instead charge the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service with creating special rules tailored to each individual species.
In order to push back against the anti-hunting movement on social media, SCI will be introducing a series of graphics highlighting myths perpetuated by the anti-hunting crowd and provide facts, scientific data, and economic information to dispel misinformation. All of these resources are now housed in a new section of the SCI website, providing a library of scientific information and other materials that clearly show the truth about the positive impact hunting makes towards wildlife conservation and the economic support it provides rural communities around the world.
Want to join SCI on our mission to spread the truth about hunting and fighting back against the anti-hunters? Tell us how hunting has positively impacted your life or the lives of those you know by tagging SCI on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram and use the hashtag #HuntTheFacts.