Legislation to repeal, weaken and refer Measure 18 back to the voters in the next election will receive hearings and possibly committee votes on Thursday, April 4th at 5:30 pm before the House Natural Resources Committee. We urgently need you to appear at this session and/or to call your State Representative.
Ever since Oregon voters twice banned the cruel and unsporting practices of bear baiting and bear and cougar hound hunting (“hounding”), some state lawmakers have been unable to accept their wishes.
But this time it’s different. Lawmakers have a new strategy. At the hearing, there will be an attempt to amend the bill in full and replace it with legislation that refers Measure 18 back to the voters.
If trophy hunters need to hear from voters for a 3rd time, let them collect the 100,000 signatures to do it! They should not get to circumvent the citizen initiative process by having the legislature do their work for them.
We need your help in two ways!
- Be present: Please ATTEND the hearing!
- Use your voice:
- Email the Natural Resources Committee and Speaker of the House. Urge them to respect the will of the voters and stop efforts once and for all to repeal/weaken Measure 18 OR to refer the issue back to Oregon voters.
- Call your State Representative. Urge him/her to respect the will of the voters and vote NO on HB 2795 & HB 3118.
- You can find your State Representative here.
Talking points about Measure 18 and trophy hunting
Oregonians are opposed to trophy hunting of cougars, including with the use of hounds, and want to keep them protected. Oregonians have already shown where they stand on this issue – twice.
- In 1994, Oregon voters passed Measure 18. For 25 years, it has for protected cougars and bears from the cruel, abusive and unsporting practices of baiting and hounding. In 1996, Oregonians decisively protected Measure 18 by an even larger margin.
- Measure 18 allows state and federal wildlife agents to hound cougars in the advent of threats to property or public safety and to carry out state wildlife-management objectives. This exemption has been successful in removing individual cougars involved in conflicts with humans, pets, and livestock while retaining the protections the voters want from abusive hunting methods.
- If the trophy hunters want to bring back the cruel and unsporting practice of hunting cougars with hounds, they should be responsible for collecting signatures from the public to place this issue back on the ballot for the third time.
- ODFW should use the best available science to manage cougars, not flawed methods that perpetuate the agency’s hostile anti-cougar agenda.
- According to the nation’s top carnivore biologists, ODFW grossly overstates Oregon’s cougars by including kittens – most of which don’t survive to adulthood – in their estimates. By so doing, and by using other flawed population-estimation techniques, ODFW creates the erroneous impression that Oregon has by far the highest cougar population in the nation.
- Studies show that trophy hunting of cougars exacerbate conflicts with humans, pets and livestock because when adult cats are removed – particularly resident adult males – younger, less experienced cats move into those vacancies, and they are the individuals most likely to engage in livestock predation because they are young and less skilled at hunting.
- This legislation is outside the mainstream. Most Oregonians dislike trophy hunting. A hunt where the primary motivation is to kill wildlife (such as a black bears or cougars) to obtain animal parts (e.g., heads, hides or claws and even the whole stuffed bodies) for display and for bragging rights (for example, trophy hunters pose with the dead animal for a portrait, often for social media).
[Thank you to The Humane Society of the United States for this text]