Friday, October 19, 2007

Department Of Natural Resources in Indiana Seeks To Stop Cruel Practice of Trainers Using Coyotes as Live Bait for Hunting Practice

Yes, this unbelievable practice does occur. I knew nothing of it. Just when you thought you heard the cruelest thing you could, something new comes up.


DNR wants to save coyotes from being sold as live bait

By Meagan Ingerson

Trappers catching coyotes during the off season may no longer be able to keep the animals alive and sell them to out-of-state hunting-dog trainers.

Coyotes (Canis latrans) are native to Indiana soil, but were considered rare or uncommon in Indiana until the early 1970s. Today, coyotes are found throughout Indiana.

Source: DNR Web site


The legislative Natural Resources Study Committee will next take up the issue at its Oct. 30 meeting. The Department of Natural Resources also will hold public meetings to discuss the proposed amendment. Dates for those meetings have not been set, although they should take place early next year.

Trainers use them as live bait for hunting practice, the Department of Natural Resources said. Animal-rights activists claim using a live, wild animal for bait is cruel, while trappers say the captive coyotes are well-treated.

Because of an ambiguous state rule, trappers who catch a live coyote out of season "think they can do anything with it," said Phil Bloom, spokesman for the Department of Natural Resources.

In "live bait" training, dogs track a wild animal that has been released in an enclosure. While some say trainers keep the wild animal from being caught, activists say the dogs often catch and kill the "bait," which includes raccoons, rabbits and coyotes.

Under a rule change preliminarily approved last month by the Natural Resources Commission, coyotes caught outside the normal trapping season must be euthanized within 24 hours.

The change was prompted by confusion over the existing rule, which states that during the trapping off season, a coyote could be "taken" from private land by the landowner or an authorized trapper.

Trappers argued that "taken" meant an animal could be kept alive and resold. The Department of Natural Resources said it meant an animal should be destroyed, Bloom said.

A live coyote can fetch as much as $200, he said, while coyote pelts sell for about $12.

The rules have been a problem since 1987, when a law was passed that allowed landowners to trap "nuisance" coyotes out of season, said Col. Mike Crider, director of law enforcement for the Department of Natural Resources. The coyote trapping season runs from Oct. 15 through Jan. 31.

Several years ago, the department altered the rule, stating that captured coyotes should be "promptly disposed of," Crider said, but the rule was still too ambiguous to enforce.

Veterinarian Rachael Jones, Valparaiso, said the practice of using "live bait" is inhumane. Jones is part of the Stop Live Dog Baiting group, which supports the rule change.
"There is no sportsmanship involved in setting packs of hounds upon disoriented, terrified and exhausted 'bait' animals that are penned," she wrote in a letter that is being circulated statewide.

Trappers, however, support any responsible use of captured animals, said George Hertz, treasurer for the Indiana State Trappers Association.

He said trappers sell the animals for collecting urine, not for use as dog-training bait. The urine is used to mask human scent when setting traps or is sold to trainers to help dogs learn tracking techniques.

But the DNR has seen evidence of trappers selling coyotes to groups that use them as bait, Bloom said.

It is illegal to use wild animals for such purposes in Indiana, but the coyotes are sold to states, including South Carolina, Virginia and West Virginia, where the operations are legal, Crider said.

Calls to several hunting dog operations were not returned Wednesday.
Wild animals caught in Indiana may be exported to other states, but most states outlaw importing wild animals, he said.

It is legal to sell coyotes during the normal trapping season, but several permits are required, Crider said. Trappers also often keep coyotes alive during the season to use their urine or to wait for their coats to fill out, making their pelts more valuable.

A total of 3,981 coyote pelts were sold in the 2005-06 hunting season, according to figures from the Department of Natural Resources.


Hansa Gruber said...

Here are coyotes being transported as part of the live market. These animals are sometimes kept in cages for months until the right "price" is gotten for them. If they die, they are used for pelts or other animal feed, if they live and can run, they are prime market bait.

Anonymous said...

I am one of many frequently called an "anti." I am anti-cruelty, anti-killing and anti-violence, so the terminology fits. It is against every moral and ethical principle in civilized society to use live animals as bait to train dogs to do other cruel things. When I heard of the live coyotes used in the training of dogs in Indiana, I thought I was transported to the Twilight Zone. How can any civilized society condone such practices? Please set some moral guidelines for the imbeciles who don't know that this is inhumane or don't care. Frank, Brownsburg, Indiana

Gia Campola said...

The reasons this is wrong seems obvious to many of us. The mentality of those practicing this, however, must be understood to fully comprehend how truly wrong this actually is. This "sport" is an activity that, often, incorporates entire families and is the core of family centered activities. Children participate in this and believe it to be acceptable behavior from a young age. I am opposed to this practice of the glaringly obvious reasons, but, also because I fear for the future of humankind. Will it be populated by individuals who embrace this viciousness and actually derive pleasure from it? It is foolish and dangerous for anyone to think that brutality and cruelty can be exclusive. This behavior can not only be present in one area of one's life - it will surface elsewhere and become greater - be assured. Reading the comments written by these hunters is enough to make your blood run cold. Not just about animals - but, all that is associated with their activities. Please look at these horrifying pictures to see further what is entailed. Thank you Gia Campola
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GEARI.ORG said...

These pictures are unbelievable. It's shocking that this still occurs. Thank you for sharing them. Really shows the true mentality of the hunter.

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