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Humane Society of the United States
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
DECEMBER 9, 2003
6:18 PM
CONTACT:   Humane Society of the United States
Nick Braden 301-258-3072
Statement by The HSUS in Response to V.P. Cheney's Shooting Spree at a PA Canned Hunting Facility
 
WASHINGTON - December 9 -  Monday's hunting trip to Pennsylvania by Vice President Dick Cheney in which he reportedly shot more than 70 stocked pheasants and an unknown number of mallard ducks at an exclusive private club places a spotlight on an increasingly popular and deplorable form of hunting, in which birds are pen-reared and released to be shot in large numbers by patrons. The ethics of these hunts are called into question by rank-and-file sportsmen, who hunt animals in their native habitat and do not shoot confined or pen-raised animals that cannot escape.

 The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported today that 500 farm-raised pheasants were released yesterday morning at the Rolling Rock Club in Ligonier Township for the benefit of Cheney’s 10-person hunting party. The group killed at least 417 of the birds, illustrating the unsporting nature of canned hunts. The party also shot an unknown number of captive mallards in the afternoon. Click here to read the Post-Gazette's story.

 “This wasn’t a hunting ground. It was an open-air abattoir, and the vice president should be ashamed to have patronized this operation and then slaughtered so many animals,” states Wayne Pacelle, a senior vice president of The Humane Society of the United States. “If the Vice President and his friends wanted to sharpen their shooting skills, they could have shot skeet or clay, not resorted to the slaughter of more than 400 creatures planted right in front of them as animated targets.”

 The Humane Society of the United States deplores the shooting of captive birds and animals where traditional “fair chase” hunting ethics are discarded and kills are guaranteed. We are campaigning to outlaw canned hunts through federal and state legislation. Our opposition is more thoroughly delineated in an opinion page essay by Pacelle in today's edition of The New York Times (page 29).

 The HSUS is the nation’s largest animal protection organization with more than seven million members and constituents. The HSUS is a mainstream voice for animals, with active programs in companion animals and equine protection, wildlife and habitat protection, animals in research and farm animals and sustainable agriculture. The HSUS has protected all animals through legislation, litigation, investigation, education, advocacy and field work. The non-profit organization, which celebrates its 50th anniversary in 2004, is based in Washington, DC and has 10 regional offices across the country. For more information, visit The HSUS’ Web site – www.hsus.org.

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