Egregious practices

To the Editor:

As the president of the Institute for Humane Education, headquartered in Surry, I work to create a more humane, just and sustainable world for people, animals and the environment. This November, we Mainers have an opportunity to vote on a referendum to ban bear baiting, hounding and trapping, and I will be voting Yes on 1.

These three forms of bear hunting are unethical and cruel. Maine is the only state in the nation to allow all three. Each year, bear baiters dump 7 million pounds of food in our woods to accustom bears to easy meals. Then these trusting bears are shot – more often by out-of-state trophy hunters – over a barrel of donuts.

Bears in traps suffer in agony, desperately trying to escape, before eventually being killed when the trapper finally checks hours later. And bears chased by hounds may wait in terror for hours after being treed before they are shot at point-blank range.

This isn’t hunting; this is target practice on sentient animals.

Maine was the first state to pass an anti-cruelty law for animals. Let’s return to our compassionate leadership and ban these egregious practices.

Zoe Weil