The Humane Society of the United States is opposing a bill in the Legislature that would allow canned hunting of deer, elk and other mammals inside fenced enclosures, saying it would sanction and expand a “shameful industry.”
House Bill 1453 cleared the Senate Natural Resources Committee this week on a 6-3 vote and may come before the full Senate next week.
Proponents of the bill say such establishments are already operating in the state and the legislation would provide regulations and licensing and collect fees.
The Humane Society says the operations are cruel, unsporting and are a breeding ground for diseases such as bovine tuberculosis, which can spread to livestock, and chronic wasting disease.
“Captive hunts are banned or restricted in over half of American states,” the Humane Society said in a statement. “But in Indiana, the debate over them has been an ongoing, decade-long fight that has pitted industry shills and lobbyists against a diverse and unwavering group of environmental conservationists, animal welfare advocates, and responsible sportsmen.
“Year after year, efforts to legalize this practice have been consistently knocked down, but when given the chance to honor the overwhelming 81 percent of Hoosiers who support a complete ban on captive hunting, lawmakers refused to even give the relevant bill a hearing in committee,” the statement said.