What’s Behind California Senate Bill 1221? An Organization Working to Ban All Hunting

The main force behind the effort to ban the hunting of California’s black bears and bobcats with hounds is the world’s largest anti-hunting group – a group that won’t be satisfied unless all hunting is illegal.  Of course I know that claim sounds like a lot of hyperbole.  And it’s expected that the opposition to a bill like this would make this argument.  But it is also the truth.  And I can prove it.

The group I refer to is the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), a multi-million dollar fundraising machine that does not operate dog and cat shelters as its name might imply, but instead seeks to change laws that permit people to hunt, raise livestock for food, use animals for life saving medical research and more.  They claim to oppose particularly cruel forms of hunting.  But their record shows otherwise.  Here are real examples of the HSUS agenda:

They Oppose All Hunting with Dogs:

In 2003, HSUS championed legislation, California Assembly Bill 342, to ban all hunting using hounds, a move that would have stopped one of the most effective means of controlling raccoon populations, which can carry rabies.  It would also have stopped the most effective means of controlling coyote numbers which increasingly cause trouble in suburban areas.  Realizing they lacked the votes to pass that bill, they failed in a last minute desperation move to pare the proposal down to just bears.  It was never about bear hunting with hounds.  It was about all hunting with hounds.

They Oppose All Bear Hunting:

It’s also about all bear hunting.  In California, HSUS is saying that the problem is hunting bears with hounds.  Yet HSUS opposed efforts in Maryland and New Jersey to open bear hunting seasons to control over population.  Neither of these proposals included hunting with hounds.

They Oppose Bird Hunting:

In 2003, HSUS advocated for legislation to ban mourning dove hunting in California.  Mourning doves, which look more like common pigeons than white turtle doves, are the number one game bird in America and are hunted in 41 states.  Hunting has no impact on their population.

They Oppose Hunting on Sundays:

This year, HSUS is an opponent of legislation allowing Pennsylvania sportsmen and women to hunt on Sundays.  California is one of 39 states that permit people to choose which day they want to go hunting.

They Oppose Getting Youth Involved in Hunting:

HSUS opposes efforts to get more young people outdoors and into hunting.  It has been the leading opponent of apprentice hunting licenses, which have successfully and safely introduced new comers to hunting under the supervision of an experienced mentor.  Accident numbers show that apprentice hunters are the safest hunters in the woods.

They Oppose Bowhunting:

HSUS and the Fund for Animals, which merged together in 2005, oppose hunting with a bow and arrow despite its usefulness at controlling white-tail deer numbers in more urban and suburban areas.  Bowhunting has been shown to be both safe in higher populated areas and an effective method of hunting.  It is also the fastest growing segment of American hunters.

HSUS:  Against all Hunting

It’s hard to believe that an organization opposes all hunting.  But it’s true about the Humane Society of the United States.  The organization’s CEO, Wayne Pacelle, learned the ropes of the animal rights lobby working for the Fund for Animals, which was founded to abolish all hunting.  He left to run the government affairs shop at HSUS, and rose to the CEO position in 2004.

HSUS later merged with the Fund for Animals and hired its senior staff, including ardent opponents of hunting Michael Markarian and Heidi Prescott, veterans of earlier efforts to ban hunting across the United States.

Here are quotes from HSUS that explain the agenda of the organization.

“As a matter of principle, The HSUS opposes the hunting of any living creature for fun, trophy, or sport because of the animal trauma, suffering, and death that result. A humane society should not condone the killing of any sentient creature in the name of sport.”  The Humane Society of the United States “Statement on Wild Animals, March 2012.


 “We are going to use the ballot box and the democratic process to stop all hunting in the United States … We will take it species by species until all hunting is stopped in California. Then we will take it state by state.”  Wayne Pacelle, Senior VP Humane Society of the US (HSUS), formerly of Fund for Animals, Full Cry Magazine, October 1, 1990.

 “If we could shut down all sport hunting in a moment, we would.”  Wayne Pacelle, Senior VP Humane Society of the US (HSUS), formerly of Fund for Animals, Associated Press, Dec 30, 1991.

Senate Bill 1221 is not about hunting bears and bobcats with hounds.  It’s about one more step in a crusade by anti-hunting organizations to ban all hunting.  Despite all of their attempts to mainstream their image, the Humane Society of the United States can’t escape its actions, or the words they have written.  Thank goodness for that.


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12 comments on “What’s Behind California Senate Bill 1221? An Organization Working to Ban All Hunting

  1. sharanne says:

    Absolutely Agree 100%!

  2. What is good about this article is it helps to expose the hypocrisy, half truths and lies HSUS sends to the public and media every day through wordsmithing and downplaying their radical, hidden agendas. There is no question HSUS’s end goals are to criminalize all hunting/fishing and force the rest of us to live by their sick lifestyles which in the extreme will result in a petless/meatless society.

    The thing we have to remember is it’s not just about us no matter what activity you enjoy. It is about all the HSUS/animal rights targets, be it animal agriculture, horse, dog, cat events, nature parks, zoos, racing, rodeo or animal research. HSUS has the same bottom line as PETA, but HSUS sits back in the shadows letting PETA do the dirty work while they project a kinder, gentler image to appeal to a mostly urban society who don’t know or understand the differences in animals both wild and domestic or their importance to us.

    Sexton does a great job telling us to ignore their rhetoric. What they say to the media and public is meaningless. We must look at their track record, actions, employees, affiliates, lawsuits and legislation that they are behind to see the true villain.. That’s what USSA does so well for those of us that don’t have the time.

    Dennis Foster

  3. matt cogswell says:

    This blog is spot on. The challenge is not in revealing the anti’s true agenda to sportsmen and women. The challenge is getting enough sportmen and women active in revealing that agenda to the general public along with the facts, not the emotional lies of the anti’s. We have truth on our side, but unfortunately truth is often trumped in today’s world by emotion. It must be emphasized to the general public that it is those of us that directly utilize animals and their habitat as renewable resources that care the most for them. We have a vested interest in seeing healthy wildlife populations and habitat. Anti’s don’t care about animals. They care about making themselves feel good and important by forcing others to bend to their will. Their agenda has nothing to do with the well being of animals whatsoever, but it has everything to do with their feelings. No one put them in charge. It is up to us to argue for hunting, trapping, fishing, agriculture and all of the other wise use forms of sustainable utilization out there.

  4. Rob Sexton says:

    You’re spot on, Matt. We appreciate the comment very much. We definitely need to make our case to the general public. It is critical. Unfortunately we need to make it to sportsmen too though. It’s surprising the amount of hunters out there who just don’t know just how often their rights to hunt actually come under fire, and who is actually behind it. Thanks again.

  5. You are absolutely right Matt!! I have been posting things on my Facebook wall to get all hunters from every state to pay attention to this and to join the U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance. If we don’t get this Bill stopped in it’s tracks the anti’s will try this in every state!! All of us hunters ned to be smart and informed and stay together and actually do something instead of complaining and not being proactive on all of these issues we face as hunters!!

  6. Beca Zaun says:

    Excellent article! Thank you for stating the truth about the Humane Society of the United States. Despite HSUS’s public claims that it seeks only to ensure animals are humanely treated, the group’s values and actions are tilted toward eliminating humans’ use of animals entirely, including ending lifesaving biomedical research on animals, funding anti-breeding campaigns, and reducing society’s consumption of meat and egg products.

    The HSUS scams thousands of dollars from an unsuspecting public using their massive media events, attention-grabbing legislative proposals and Hollywood spokesmen. The HSUS misrepresents itself and takes advantage of every single “crisis” issue it can find to try to profit from it. Its main activities are comprised of promoting laws to restrict use/ownership, propaganda in support of such laws, and fundraising/self-promotional actions. While it has no relation to local humane societies and animal shelters anywhere in the US, HSUS does control dozens of legal corporations throughout the world. Despite its image as a cash-strapped animal protection agency, the HSUS has become the wealthiest animal rights organization on earth.

    I highly recommend reading the terrific article by Walt Hutchens on the future of dogs in America:


    Please continue your excellent work on exposing this powerful animal rights group!

  7. I read the article and saw few actual references cited as to evidence of what the author is stating. The references that are cited are mostly a decade or more out of date.
    The one current item mentioned, hunting on Sunday in Pennsylvania is misleading in that it alludes that all hunting in Pa. is banned.
    That is not true as there are species with seasons on Sunday, and tis has been the case for many years.
    I have visited the HSUS website many times, specifically seeking information on the agencies anti hunting and fishing campaigns and found very little on hunting and nothing on fishing.
    The hunting issues are primarily concerned with canned hunts and poaching. Not a broad assault on hunting.
    A wise man once advised; Trust, but verify.

  8. […] The anti’s strategy, including the Humane Society of the United States, is the same as it was back in 1978 when our organization was born. […]

  9. David says:

    Ive been hunting since I was little what these people dont see is with the more and more kids hunting it keeps them off the streets and away from drugs all these people have blinders on its crazy to think what ower four fathers fought for is getting taken away by peole that dont see the good in hun and how it has family come togeth and keeps kids off the streets and they get to enjoy what ower four fathers died for people need to make a stand and fight to hold on to ower freedom

  10. David says:

    people need to stop and think how much sportsman spend on on wild life. MDF is a fine example of hunters getting together and helping wildlife and try to bring the pouplation back up. we need to stand up for ower rights in hope that the next generation will make a stand to.

  11. […] United States (HSUS) for his campaign for the 26th District seat in the United States Congress.  HSUS was the prime sponsor of SB 1221.  When the votes were tallied on the Senate floor, Democrats had supplied 20 yes votes.  […]

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