Thursday, March 28, 2024

Managed dog hunts of coyotes making a comeback

I had no idea that coyote hunting as a "sport" even existed, but apparently the government of Ontario (yes, them again!) has seen fit to expand a licensing regime that allows such things.

The so-called "train and trial" licenses are for dog hunting clubs where coyotes are caught in the wild and enclosed in a fenced area, and where hunting dogs are let loose on them, supposedly so they can learn to hunt such wild animals (why?) and to hone their hunting skills. Judges score the dogs on their hunting prowess, award points, and crown champions at meets. 

It sound to me like the next thing to dog-fighting and bear-baiting, but apparently it's legal, and the Ford Conservative government is even encouraging it, after previous administrations have played it down somewhat. 

The Ontario Sporting Dog Association insists that no animal is hurt in the sport - well, of course they do! - and the government obviously prefers this line. Others, though, beg to differ, claiming that coyotes have been hurt and killed by dogs, and that a coyote trade ring exists where coyotes are captured, kept in inhumane conditions, and then sold off to these train and trial clubs.

Doesn't seem like the kind of thing our elected representatives should be condoning or encouraging.

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