Policy and Practice

North Dakota Measure 2 — Canned Hunting Contextualized

David Cassuto (x-post from Animal Blawg)

There’s an odd debate going on within the North Dakota agriculture industry over Measure 2, which would ban canned hunting in the state.  On the one hand are those who support the measure because they believe canned hunts  reflect badly on the animal industry and also bring the threat of disease to livestock.  On the other side are those who say canned hunting is no different than other types of animal agriculture in that both businesses raise the animals for meat.   According to one measure opponent, “It would seem to me that the animal there is private property.  This (ban) is one step away from banning the slaughter of cattle, hogs and sheep, what have you.”    

Both sides agree that the real enemy are the animal advocacy organizations.  “Radical animal rights groups run with this bone in their teeth and use canned shooting as a draw for donations and membership. Just the annual budget of the HSUS alone can swamp any positive aspects of public relations by the ag community,” observes Dick Monson of North Dakota Hunters for Fair Chase (who support the measure).  Jason Schmidt of the North Dakota Stockmen’s Association thinks Monson is naive:  “I think he (Monson) is underestimating the motives of groups like HSUS or PETA,” Schmidt says. “They want to eliminate animal agriculture and this is just a small step toward that. The property rights issue is a slippery slope. If you give them that one thing in legislation, I don’t think they’re going to quit.”

It’s hard to know where to begin with this.  Does one side with those who oppose the measure on the grounds that there is no ethically relevant difference between slaughtering farm animals and staging canned “hunts” of imprisoned “wild” animals?  Or does one argue that enabling an industry built solely on the pleasure that “hunters” derive from shooting helpless, trapped animals is different and worse than raising and killing animals not for the fun of killing but rather because of a belief that killing is an acceptable by-product of animal consumption?

Is there an ethical divide here?  Or merely a distinction without a difference?  North Dakota voters will decide Measure 2 on November 2nd but the larger questions will, alas, remain with us for a long time.


  1. Johnny Wishbone

    Dear Green Law,

    What you are doing is excellent, and because I;m outraged with what’s going on, I wrote the following mail to a practitioner of canned butchery (Certain French has been censored):

    Dear animal killers!!!

    I say animal killer and not Kevin (or whatever a priest named you when you were hatched out of the sewer) or human or even two legged beasts, because;

    A) You don’t deserve to be part of the human race! Therefore, you don’t deserve to be addressed as human
    B) You don’t deserve to be included among the other ‘beasts’ of the magnificent animal kingdom! Therefore,you don’t deserve to be called beast either!

    So, I think we may just stick to your abbreviation ”AK”(animal killer)…I won’t even go into the trouble of calling you Scum, because again, that would be regarded as an inclusion to the human race, which as I pointed out in point A, is out of the question.

    But make no mistake, you are SCUM!!!….You!the AK’s you work for!The AK’s who work for you (Personally, I would prefer starving in the streets than working for AK’s), and the biggest AK’s yet…Your clients!!!…

    That’s right! All the privileged Yanks and Asians that have the audacity to walk this planet, shove some cash in your face and kill a defenseless animal the next day! Under your direction of course and notably, under the pretext of ”professional services”, or whatever the hell you have the arrogance to print on your invoices these days.

    Get yourselves real jobs!Stop killing animals!It is so outdated and un-21st century.

    I will tirelessly blog you AK’s out of existence. If that doesn’t work, then I will lobby you out of existence.

    If you want to reply to me, don’t bother with crap like what a hipocrate I am because I eat meat and wear leather shoes, or how what you are doing is controlling and balancing wild animal populations; or even how what you’re doing is an extension of what goes on in nature. Don’t fool me!You know better than I do, that if you walk past a fed lion, it won’t even look at you! (Here’s a new concept for you. Killing to survive and not for kicks).

    The truth is that certain AK’s hunt because they see it as a blood sport and a form of entertainment. AK’s that support this for financial gain! Now that’s another story!You don’t get any lower than that.

    Eat **** *******. Or if you have trouble understanding this. Eet *** bliksem (Afrikaans translation)

    Johnny Wishbone

  2. dakota

    awwww that pic looks pan full lol

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