The state of Maine harbors some of the cruelest methods of hunting bears anywhere in the world. Hunters in the state favor a hunting method known as hounding, where a pack of dogs harasses a bear for miles until the exhausted bear seeks refuge in a tree. The hunters use GPS devices to track the dogs and shoot the bear off of the tree branch it is clinging onto. Dog-bear fights often ensue, resulting in the death of one or more of the animals, which are simply pawns in the hunting game.
Not only are the bears in Maine treated inhumanely, but the hunting dogs as well. Maine animal shelters have reported an increased number of bear hounds being dumped at their doors, after being subjected to improper veterinary care and nutrition. The Humane Society of the United States proposed a legislative act that would stop inhumane and unsporting methods of bear hunting. Since the legislature has failed to act, it is now up to the voters to decide the fate of the bear species.
Sign my petition to urge the government in Maine to reject voter suppression legislation that would keep the cruelty of bear hounding and baiting out of the public eye. We must protect our right to freedom of speech while also protecting the bear species from senseless destruction.
Photo credit: Cowgirl Jules via Flickr