DNR is harm­ing wildlife by al­low­ing hunt­ing

Maryland Independent - - Community Forum -

Last year it was the Bryans Road Vol­un­teer Fire Depart­ment raf­fling off weapons. This year it is the In­dian Head Moose Lodge that is plan­ning to put 14 more weapons onto the streets of Charles County.

It is ridicu­lous for char­ity or­ga­ni­za­tions to be adding to the car­nage we are suf­fer­ing from gun vi­o­lence in this coun­try. We need a law that keeps char­i­ties from run­ning guns.

Charles County is a beau­ti­ful place to live. I have the most spec­tac­u­lar wildlife in my back­yard. How­ever, it pains me ev­ery fall to re­al­ize that there are peo­ple who can’t wait to mur­der these beau­ti­ful an­i­mals for fun. Even in the de­vel­op­ment district we have to suf­fer through the sound of gun­fire on an al­most daily ba­sis.

This vi­cious killing is spon­sored and en­cour­aged by a state agency, the Depart­ment of (kill our) Nat­u­ral Re­sources (DNR). There is no jus­ti­fi­ca­tion for this massacre of our beau­ti­ful wildlife. With global warm­ing putting ex­treme pres­sures on wildlife, many species may go ex­tinct in the near fu­ture. It is time to rec­og­nize that wild an­i­mals are in­di­vid­u­als that have a right to live their lives with­out be­ing cru­elly wounded or killed for the en­ter­tain­ment of peo­ple who don’t know any bet­ter.

Hunt­ing is big busi­ness for DNR and the gun in­dus­try. Wild an­i­mals are tor­tured and killed for profit. Our state gov­ern­ment should be pro­tect­ing our wildlife, not set­ting them up as tar­gets for mur­der­ers.

DNR does not op­er­ate for the ben­e­fit of wildlife or the tax­pay­ers of the state of Mary­land. Ev­ery­thing DNR does is for the ben­e­fit and en­ter­tain­ment of hun­ters. DNR al­lows the use of the most cruel weapons such as cross­bows and com­pound bows. I am re­minded of this ev­ery time I see a buck hob­bling on three legs. DNR al­lows hun­ters to bait an­i­mals and then shoot them when they come to feed. DNR al­lows the use of cam­eras to track an­i­mals. DNR even al­lows peo­ple to shoot fish with a cross­bow. DNR even kills preda­tors to cre­ate deer over­pop­u­la­tion. DNR al­lows hunt­ing in state parks and on wildlife refuges.

There is no fair hunt in Mary­land. The an­i­mals don’t stand a chance against the tech­nol­ogy used against them. Hun­ters say they “har­vest” wildlife. You har­vest crops or plants. You kill, mur­der, maim, wound, massacre or butcher an­i­mals, but you can­not “har­vest” an an­i­mal.

News­pa­per ed­i­tors should know bet­ter. When­ever “har­vest” is used in an ar­ti­cle about hunt­ing, ed­i­tors should cor­rect the ter­mi­nol­ogy. It is ob­vi­ous that DNR is sen­si­tive to the pub­lic’s per­cep­tion of hunt­ing and aver­sion to killing wildlife. That is why they use the term “har­vest” and that is why they call them­selves the wildlife and her­itage di­vi­sion in­stead of fish and game. But a pig in a dress is still a pig.

The state gov­ern­ment should get out of the wildlife killing busi­ness and stop spread­ing toxic lead through­out our en­vi­ron­ment. Lead con­tam­i­nated bush meat is a threat to chil­dren and es­pe­cially to the poor who re­ceive unin­spected bush meat do­nated by Hun­ters for the Hun­gry. It is time to ban the cru­elty of hunt­ing. If we stop killing an­i­mals for fun, maybe we will stop killing each other.

Steven W. Bren­nan, Wal­dorf

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