Illinois Euthanasia Bill Threat to Sportsmen

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Anti-hunters have persuaded an Illinois legislator to introduce a bill allowing a private organization to set standards for the euthanasia of wildlife. The legislation would remove or severely limit the power of the state wildlife agency to manage wildlife.

House Bill 335, sponsored by Rep. Sara Feigenholtz (D-Chicago), is precedent-setting legislation. In no other state does a private association set wildlife rules. The bill’s backers want people to believe that it would only affect nuisance control companies, but that is not so.

The impact of this bill on the public will be tremendous. It requires that any animal causing damage be turned over to a wildlife rehabilitator or released whenever possible. Instead of controlling nuisance wildlife, this bill guarantees their proliferation. The excessive beaver and raccoon populations that would come as a result of the bill will cause well contamination, water damage and most assuredly an increase in the spread of rabies.

In 2002, animal rights groups worked to have a similar bill introduced that directly attacked hunting and trapping. It failed. If the current bill passes, the animal rights lobby will push for it to be applied to all hunting and trapping.

Take Action! Illinois sportsmen are urged to voice opposition to House Bill 335 at the House Agriculture & Conservation Committee hearing on Tuesday, February 4 at 4PM in Springfield, Illinois. It will be in hearing room D-1 in the Stratton Building. If you cannot attend, contact your state representative by calling (217) 782-8223, or by using the Legislative Action Center on the U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance homepage, www.ussportsmen.org.