U.S. House Gives Stocking Full of Gifts to Most Extreme Factions of the Hunting Lobby

By on February 26, 2016 with 32 Comments

The U.S. House said one thing today and did another. Lawmakers in support of H.R. 2406, the Sportsmen’s Heritage and Recreational Enhancement (SHARE) Act, talked about helping sportsmen and the tradition of hunting and conservation. But in the legislation they passed today, they have done almost nothing for rank-and-file hunters and have instead offered a stocking stuffed full of special offerings for trophy hunters, ivory carvers, commercial trappers, ammunition manufacturers, and other special interests.

Among other harmful provisions, the SHARE Act now strips wolves of their federal protections in four states under the Endangered Species Act, subverting the judicial process and subjecting hundreds of wolves to hostile state practices such as baiting, hound hunting, and painful steel-jawed leghold traps. It also includes language to block federal wildlife officials from stopping aerial gunning and baiting of grizzly bears and denning of wolves on national wildlife refuges in Alaska. It prevents the federal government from stopping deer hunting with packs of dogs in the Mark Twain National Forest – an activity banned in the vast majority of states. And it blocks the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service from finalizing and enacting its proposed rule to curb the trade in ivory in the United States, which would help combat the current elephant poaching crisis.

The people who benefit from the provisions of this are America’s most extreme and ruthless hunters. They are to hunting what Cliven and Ammon Bundy are to ranching – zealots who want to operate with no rules and who act as if they, not the American taxpayers, own our public lands.

The bill contains troubling provisions that relate to the use of toxic lead ammunition, at a time when non-toxic ammunition is available to all hunters, and is less harmful to wild animals, land, and human health. A provision of the bill would roll back the Marine Mammal Protection Act and provide a sweetheart deal to help 41 wealthy polar bear trophy hunters import the heads of rare polar bears they shot in Canada. The animals were not shot for their meat, but just for trophies and bragging rights. It’s the latest in a series of these import allowances for polar bear hunters, and it encourages trophy hunters to kill rare species around the world and then wait for a congressional waiver to bring back their trophies.

The only good news is that the SHARE Act is so chock-full of insanely far-reaching provisions that it almost certainly cannot pass the Senate or win a signature from the President in this current form. Given that at least two of his priority rulemaking actions would be negated by this legislation, I cannot imagine that President Obama would sign it.

The fact is, the hunting lobby already has access to federal lands and they pretty much get their way in terms of policy making. In this case, their greed and mania for killing took over, and Republican lawmakers were all too quick to embrace their demands and try to package it falsely as a mainstream bill. An honest reading of the bill tells us something very different.

*P.S.—See how your own Representative voted on this terrible bill, which passed the House by a vote of 242-161. And see where they stood on the key amendments to make the bill worse: delisting wolves, which passed by a vote of 232-171; blocking predator control rules on Alaska refuges, which passed by a vote of 236-169; and allowing hound hunting of deer, which passed 232-173. One pro-animal amendment, which failed by a vote of 159-242, would have struck the polar bear trophy hunting import language.

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Public Policy (Legal/Legislative), Wildlife/Marine Mammals

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32 Comments

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  1. Shirley Hicks says:

    I’d be more than happy to contact my state legislator, governor, house representative, even the Muslim president, whoever I could to voice my displeasure with the passing of this bill. The problem is you cannot reach them on the phone, leaving a message means nothing, contacting them by email provides a bunch of loopholes to dance through and then you become frustrated because you can’t contact them directly. And you will certainly NEVER, EVER receive a personal response. It’s auto-response and that’s even worse. They DO NOT CARE what WE think anymore. Apparently they’re still catering to the people who grease their palms with the cash. We, the people – meaningless. It’s getting worse with the political arena in the mess that it is but the people in Washington quit listening to us a long time ago. If someone can give me an email that works, a telephone number that actually has a human answer, please let me know. I’m really disappointed in this bill being passed and it certainly isn’t the first time I was disappointed.

    • Ashley Elliott says:

      You just have to keep doing what you are doing (and thank you for trying!). On some legislators’ websites, you can submit letters and ask for a response, and you should get one if you do ask for one. Some legislators also hold town hall meetings or have local office hours at community events; maybe try to see them at one of those.

    • AndyBat says:

      I contacted my HR regarding Logan’s Law and he sent me a letter with an original signature stating that he voted in favor of it. Even if you don’t hear from them, it doesn’t mean they didn’t hear you. Urge others to call and SHARE this post on your FB and twitter accounts. All too often people complain and cry over the injustice inflicted on animals and they “Like” the post that was upsetting to them, but they never hit “Share” and ask others to participate in signing a petition or changing a law.

  2. David Bernazani says:

    I’m glad my local California representative didn’t vote for this horrible bill, and I can’t understand why so many others did. This bill doesn’t represent the will of the vast majority of the people, just a handful of greedy and (key word here) wealthy individuals who think America’s natural bounty is theirs for the killing and taking. I’ve never seen a clearer case of wealth deciding votes in Congress. Shame on the House of Representatives.
    Hopefully the Senate has higher standards, and will chuck out this bill like the rubbish that it is.

  3. karen allman says:

    These ‘represenatives’ obvisiously did not do their homework and I wouuldn’t be suprised how many are associated with these so called ‘hunting’ entities

  4. Maria Aurora Durán - Padilla says:

    I’m going to go hunting. What I’m hunting is every Republican that pass that Bill.😠😠😠😠😠😠

  5. Ana (Cheechako) says:

    I can’t say I wonder because I can imagine but, this is soo dirty…the senators and their keen are all involved along with their “friends and known people” in this homicide. Is well said: this guys live for them, for the flesh and the pleasures of this world and sacrifice innocent blood along with their greedy but their Glory is their SHAME.
    We must fight this war and save hopefully more female species in order for them keep reproducing. We must fight. we cannot give up not even when going to sleep, if.

  6. Tiffany Moyers says:

    I am so against killing anything..

  7. Linda Wyatt says:

    How can we stop this. This is animal cruelty.

  8. Karen Ricks says:

    The aye voters should have to draw a slip of paper from a big bowl. On these slips of paper will be an inhumane atrocity that the SHARE ACT (H.R. 2406) allows and supports. The aye voter should then have to experience the same treatment an animal experiences. My guess is the ayes would quickly change to noes. Elected officials that vote aye to this terrible bill have traded their integrity for monetary rewards they are receiving from their rich constituents. Will someone please explain what benefit or reward a voter receives for voting aye to this act?

  9. Sarah Hamilton says:

    Please do not let this bill pass. Animals are not here for human ‘sport’, entertainment or profits. Have some compassion and human decency.

  10. christine mueller says:

    this is sick and inhumane. i am an animal activist and this is just beyond sick and psychotic. i will do everything in my power to prevent this from happening. if we kill the wildlife, we kill a part of our souls. we know that extinction is forever. animals have never been in greater need of human compassion. shame on the republicans. they are a disgrace. i hate republicans.

  11. Jae Flora says:

    HSUS – please tell us what we can all do to stop this. Lead the charge, we don’t know a viable game plan, and we will work with you to defeat this.

    We have all kinds of Facebook pages set up to try to stop hunting – we are not being effective. We need the HSUS to lead the way to effective change now.

  12. karen Foster says:

    Shame on them. Evolve.

  13. cynthia brown says:

    do not let this law go into effect/ It will ruin our and the world’s wildlife and
    Marine life. thanks

  14. Camille says:

    This is what’s happening while we are all not paying attention to what they do in Washington. This is despicable. I’m remembering the responses from my various Congressmen & Senators to the letters/messages I sent about the hunting and ivory trade. Nothing but bull! This is a sad day.

  15. Jeaneen says:

    Congress is useless they allow illegals into the country destroying it, and than they can’t even stand up for saving animals. Vote them all out totally useless!

    • Kimberly says:

      I agree with a lot of these comments about the bill being passed. How dare they turn away from what is happening with our animals, don’t they understand what extinction means to our world. Guess not if they continue to support the rich and greed.

  16. Nancy Morrow says:

    I find this extremely disturbing! I do want to thank Andre Carson (IN) for doing the right thing. I also want to let Young (IN) know how very disappointed I am and that any future votes from me are now extinct, just as the future of these animals will soon be, unless Obama can do the right thing once this bill reaches him!! God, please protect these animals, since the lost souls in the government have not. Amen.

  17. R Alexander says:

    What a load of crap – this is not the will of the people.

  18. Jan and Carl Butler says:

    What good are comments. Talk. Talk. Talk. Meanwhile our precious wildlife is being brutally destroyed by evil, disgusting, greedy horrible people.

    How is it tgat we get such late notice that this bill is eminent. Why is that not making the news?

  19. janey taylor says:

    Animals are endangered enough as it us, this is madness! Stop the persecution, NOW!
    The most powerful country in the world is going to let this happen?
    I live in Orkney Scotland UK where we cherish wildlife!

  20. Linda Dingledy says:

    Stop the trade of ivory! Stop elephant poaching!

  21. Barbara Griffith says:

    When I read that this insane bill had been voted on I sent the Rep.Reichert a email going after him about his voting for this bill. This man claims he is a member of the Animal Protection Caucus which I think is a lie how could anyone be a member of anything connected to animal protection and sign a bill that will wipe out wolves and damage the protections the other wild animals have? I told him off I doubt he will answer it, what can he say? He’s the only person named Reichert that is a representative in congress so he can’t wiggle out of what he did this is another politician that is crooked.

  22. Penelope Bianchi says:

    All we can do is write and protest…..and most of all, VOTE!!

    the internet is making it much easier to sign petitions! (I used to take them on paper door to door!)

    Help, young people…..please help! We are all depending on you!!!

  23. Kathy Porter says:

    So many people here that have voiced their anger. What is it going to take to beat these heartless politicians into doing the right thing. Thank HSUS for all you do for all animals.

  24. Chaterine senjaya says:

    Is it too late to help the animals?
    And how are we going to share our voice to the world if the world is’t listening?

  25. Anirban (aka Abner) Bhattacharya says:

    I am neither Democrat nor Republican but there are Republicans who are against sports hunting & who believe hunting must be limited to food & only what you need to eat. There are Republicans opposed to this, so wrong to imply all Republicans support this & I’m not Republican. Must also say that being against animal cruelty & supporting animal welfare (not to PETA extreme) is shared by Rush H. Limbaugh & Patrick J. Buchanan.

    I agree with RushH Limbaugh & Patrick J. Buchanan on hunting-hunting for food is fine but hunting for sport is wrong. I can tolerate hunting wild goats, deer, ducks, pheasants, hares, rabbits & squirrels for food as long as animal is quickly killed & eaten. But I can’t tolerate hunting animals just because it’s there. Hunting for food & eating your kills is 1 thing, but hunting for sports is wrong.

    If people want to hunt deer, pheasant, ducks, hares or rabbits for food, then as long as they are swiftly killed, then I have no problem. I know hunters who agree with me and they oppose poaching & believe in the idea of eating their kills. Nature as known can be cruel. Though PETA would differ, I would rather see a hunter quickly shoot and kill a quail, duck, deer or rabbit and eat their kill vs. a python killing a rabbit. Yes, the python is doing what is nature, but nature can be cruel.

    People from other nations who go to Africa to hunt elephants, giraffes, etc. do that mainly because they want to kill an animal they can’t find in their own nations. These hunters can’t let well enough alone in that they can’t settle for the wild goats, deer, pheasants, etc. they hunt but need to hunt that giraffe.

    Yes, it’s legal for tourists to travel to Africa to hunt giraffes & pay alot of money for this hunt. But just because it’s legal doesn’t make it right. Law in most Spanish provinces allow bullfighting (I used to live in Spain), but they should abolish bullfighting because there are more humane & fast ways to kill for food. Visiting Spain in 2014, most Spaniards under 30 years old are against bullfighting & Spaniards told me that there are more humane ways to kill for food such as rifles instead of a bullfight.

    We don’t need private hunters hunting wolves, foxes & coyotes. If cull is needed to prevent overpopulation, then that can be done by wildlife officials since these are not food hunts. Problem with these hunts is that people take more than what is allowed.They could require cameras & have wildlife officials monitor these cull hunts. With govt. doing aerial shootings by helicopter of wolves, foxes, coyotes & other animals to prevent overpopulation & diseases. Public input in most cases given before it’s authorized. @least here there is less possibility of over hunting & there are statistics (hopefully honest) kept on how many wolves, foxes, etc. were killed in cull hunts.

    Now yes, you can have excess bobcats, cougars, wolves, foxes & coyotes attacking pets & livestock. Yes, you can have diseases such as parvo. If they can avoid hunting them & put them in zoos, then that would be better. If they are to be hunted, then it must be done by wildlife officials to cull diseases & not private hunters. But before they are, then there should be biological statements which show that culling is only choice & there should be public input. They should do what they can to avoid hunting bobcats, cougars, wolves, foxes & coyotes because these animals aren’t food & we don’t need fur coats anymore to stay warm.

  26. Anirban (aka Abner) Bhattacharya says:

    Something else on hunting & it deals with arrogance such as 1970s musician Ted Nugent (Ted Anthony Nugent). While I don’t listen to classic rock anymore as I like new music such as in 2016 Ariana Grande or JD Bieber, I used to think Ted A. Nugent only hunted wild game for food, until I learned that he has in past been convicted of poaching & on his Facebook, he arrogantly made excuses for the dentist who killed Cecil the lion. Guessing US HSUS knows that Ted posts pictures of animals he has killed where he is smiling such as where he brags of killing bobcats & coyotes which are not food.

    There are hunters who have told Ted A. Nugent that they are against killing an animal just because it’s there which isn’t going to be eaten & that it’s wrong to smile with an animal you killed for fun. Haughty Ted A. Nugent rudely replies with insults, using F word, other things. I have talked to hunters who are against Ted, by telling me that they only hunt what they eat or will give to others to eat & they are against killing animals just because it’s there. Their view is hunting & quickly killing a deer, wild goats, ducks, rabbits, hares, squirrels & pheasants which you will eat or will give others to eat, as long as there’s no poaching is 1 thing. But that what Ted does is wrong.

    Ted Nugent or Ted Anthony Nugent should have lost his weapons after he was convicted of poaching & he should have been forbidden from hunting. No surprise he sided with the dentist & Ted A. Nugent is rude & arrogant. I hope that Humane Society can do a blog on Ted & mention the fact that not all hunters agree with Ted. I don’t go to PETA extreme with their view against all hunting but hunting an animal just because it’s there which is not food is wrong.

    Hunting for food & eating your kills is 1 thing, but hunting for sports is wrong. If people want to hunt deer, pheasant, ducks, hares or rabbits for food, then as long as they are swiftly killed, then I have no problem. Though I do not listen to country music, singer Miranda Leigh Lambert in addition to the good work she does to protect dogs with Pedigree dog food also hunts & fishes for food. Miranda Leigh Lambert proves that it is consistent to support animal welfare & @ the same time have no problem with food hunting as long as the animal is humanely and swiftly killed. Miranda Leigh Lambert is a huntress who proves that there are people who support animal welfare who have no problem with food hunting as long as animal is swiftly killed and no poaching. I have a friend who has hunted deer for food. She has same views as country singer Miranda Leigh Lambert has on dogs and she has done humane work with dogs.

    Another eg. would be radio host Rush Limbaugh (Rush Hudson Limbaugh) who did announcements for U.S. Humane Society in 2009. Though I don’t know if Rush hunts, he supports people’s right to hunt for food. Rush in 2009 did announcements for U.S. Humane Society where he speaks against dog fighting, animal abuse & he talked of his cat & how he loved his cat and so on. Should the U.S. Humane Society have not used Rush? Should Pedigree Dog Food & U.S. Humane Society take announcements from people on animal topics like country singer Miranda (Miranda Leigh Lambert) and Rush because 1 has hunted?

  27. Rod Anaforian says:

    American politicians sustain a commitment to disappoint. Protection of wildlife in the U.S. and abroad is NOT a partisan issue. It is not even an ISSUE! If humanity is to evolve and cultures are to advance, human behavior must evolve. An evolving culture presumes an ever increasing appreciation for life and that which sustains it.

    Trophy hunting is so far removed from human decency that a rational effort to explain or excuse those who spend thousands of dollars to travel the world for the joy and thrill of killing cannot be expressed.

    Donald Trump and his sons equate trophy hunting with golf. Golf! Uselessly wealthy people killing for fun when the same dollars could be spent to provide permanent clean water wells in horrifically impoverished African villages and they equate their addiction to killing with GOLF!

    God help humanity and shame on those who endeavor to facilitate the thrill killing of animals.

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