Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Legal WI hound 'training' leads again to fatal fights with wolves

Here we go again.

Bear hunters can run their hounds off-leash and right through wolf-rendezvous zones to 'train' for the bearing hunting season later this year, thus throwing their dogs into fights with wolves the dogs will lose.

The Wisconsin DNR has recently reported several such encounters leading to hound injuries, and two deaths, including to Walker hounds like this one.
Adding to or perhaps triggering this state-sanctioned brutality - - context, history, here - - is the Wisconsin-only state payment program which reimburses up to $2,500 per killed hound to the owner, even if he or she is a repeat-collector, a scofflaw, just plain careless or thoughtless, etc. Note the huge payments over the years, here.

Not enough people do not know the facts, as I wrote two years ago:
Bear hound deaths, WI reimbursements part of bigger, bloodier picture
Wisconsin hunters are also allowed to train their dogs against a variety of living, captive, caged wild animals.  
In some cases, small animals, like trapped raccoons, are allowed to be put into cages that roll - - so-called "roll cages" - - as part of the dogs' training....
And, yes, there are requirements in the state rules to protect the caged wild animals from injury or death during the dog training...but who is around to monitor and enforce those rules' effectiveness, given that DNR wardens are spread awfully thin statewide, and the training periods can legally run up to 18 hours a day? 
Who will actually make sure, for example, that a hunting dog is not allowed to get closer than one foot to a caged bear - - yes, that's the allowable practice - - or that if the cage is hoisted in the air for training purposes, it has to be 10 feet off the ground?  
And that throughout the hours and hours straight of such hoisting and dodging and other movements that the caged bears are given the food and water and rest they are supposed to have. 
And why, if the protections in the rules are effective, are there protocols in place to account for and dispose of wild, captive animals injured or killed during the training...as copied from the DNR's website...
And it will get worse if WI GOP politicians undo the federal ban on wolf hunting.

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