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PETA Speaks Out On The Colorado Poaching Case

October 19, 2007.

In our updates on October 16 and October 18, Hunt The West covered the Colorado bear poaching case that included a seemingly inappropriate $500 donation to PETA as part of the penalty.

There has been, to say the least, a lot of negative reaction to the judge's decision to mandate a donation to an organization that does not having anything to do with anti-poaching efforts, but rather is very actively opposed to legitimate hunting (and wearing fur, and eating Kentucky Fried Chicken, and so forth).

For the sake of fairness, I contacted PETA and asked them to share some info with Hunt The West subscribers about how they work to fight poaching. Perhaps the presiding judge in this poaching case knew something that the rest of America did not?

A very nice and sincere woman from PETA provided me with a statement, included below in its entirety and without my commentary (other than to suggest that the starving baby thing was laying it on a little heavy).

"PETA is grateful for this donation and it will be put toward our work to end the abuse of all animals.

PETA opposes the killing of animals for sport or entertainment, including hunting and poaching. We work to stop the suffering of billions of animals in the meat, clothing, entertainment, and experimentation industries. It doesn't matter to a bear or a deer whether he or she was killed legally by a hunter with a permit during open hunting season, or poached illegally, her carcass left to rot in a field. The bullet in her side still pierces her with the same pain, she feels the same terror and helplessness, and her babies are left behind to starve all the same. People should arm themselves with a camera—not a gun—and enjoy the outdoors through activities that do not harm animals. "

Like I said, I appreciate PETA sharing their viewpoint and won't dispute it here. But what I will say is that if PETA explicitly makes NO differentiation between legal hunting and poaching, it continues to be more and more GROSSLY inappropriate that the presiding judge ordered the donation to PETA in this poaching case.

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