VANCOUVER, August 21/2002 - The Humane Society of Canada said the Alberta Government's decision to outlaw penned hunts where captive wildlife are shot by hunters, was the right decision. "We believe that a great deal of praise goes to Premier Klein who had said from the very beginning that this was a cruel and unacceptable practice," said Al Hickey, Western Regional Director for The Humane Society of Canada.

"Now that Manitoba and Alberta have made a humane decision, we are hopeful that other western provinces like BC and Saskatchewan, and other jurisdictions, will follow their example," said HSC Executive Director, Michael O'Sullivan.

"The decision to outlaw this cowardly practice is also in line with public attitudes," said O'Sullivan. "Repeated comprehensive federal surveys show that less than 5% of Canadians participate in hunting, and that 95% of Canadians support the protection and not the slaughter of wildlife. A recent study in the United States, shows that Americans are following their Canadian counterparts, with only 4.6% of Americans engaging in hunting."

The Humane Society of Canada has always been opposed to the recreational killing of wildlife. As someone once said: "When someone destroys a work of man we call him a vandal. But someone destroys a work of God and nature, we call him a sportsman".

For the past four years The Humane Society of Canada has been carrying out an investigation into canned hunts taking place in BC, Alberta, Ontario, Quebec and other parts of Canada. "In our opinion these macho men are really nothing more than brutal cowards. Their lives are so empty that the only way they can make themselves feel better is by shooting a helpless wild animal trapped inside a fenced in compound", said a disgusted Michael O’Sullivan.

For example it costs $20,000 to blow a gaping hole in a bighorn sheep. You can kill a penned up musk ox for $10,000. Some of the animals are even listed as endangered species on the Convention on the International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) to which Canada is a long time signatory.

The animals come from zoos and game farms and are obtained through a series of brokers who buy and sell wildlife. In response to the public backlash, some zoos have said they have a policy on paper not to sell wildlife for canned hunts - however, they also admit that this policy is virtually impossible to enforce once they sell the animal.

For example, "three Sable Antelopes were sold by the Metro Toronto Zoo to a wildlife broker in Minnesota, who in turn sold them to a killing ground in Texas", said O’Sullivan. And according to governmental wildlife agencies - which are paid to protect wildlife, not sanction their slaughter - all of this is perfectly legal.

The Humane Society of Canada intends to continue to develop new and creative ways to end this wanton slaughter. It’s like shooting fish in a barrel.

In most cases, the use of wildlife falls within provincial and territorial jurisdiction. For the name and address of the Minister in your area, call us on our toll-free number 1-800-641-KIND (5463) or visit our website at www.humanesociety.com

CONTACT: Michael O'Sullivan by toll free 1-800-641-KIND or Michael on his cell phone (416) 876-9685 or at www.humanesociety.com via twitter at www.twitter.com/HSCanada and on Facebook at: http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Humane-Society-of-Canada/211468055538280

[For more than 17 years, Al Hickey was the Chief Executive of the BC SPCA and before that headed up the Alberta and BC Chambers of Commerce, and was the Executive Director of the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Vancouver. He has been The HSC Western Regional Director for over 12 years. He has 4 children and 6 grandchildren. For his lifetime of achievement dedicated to helping people, animals and the environment, we have bestowed upon him our prestigious Heroes for Animals Award, shared by only a handful of people and organizations.

A father with two children, and a houseful of dogs and cats, Michael O'Sullivan has worked across Canada and in over 110 countries during the last 40 years helping people, animals and nature.]

The Humane Society of Canada (HSC) works to protect dogs, cats, horses, birds, rabbits and small animals, livestock, lab animals, wildlife and the environment. We carry out hands on programs to help animals and nature, mount rescue operations, expose cruelty through hard hitting undercover investigations, work to pass laws to protect animals, use a multidisciplinary approach, support animal shelters and wildlife rehabilitation centres, and spread the word about how to help animals and nature through humane education.

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