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Indiana Study Committee Votes to Support Captive Hunting

The introduction of legislation to legalize captive hunting operations has been recommended by the Indiana Legislature’s Interim Study Committee on Agriculture and Natural Resources. These privately-owned facilities stock deer, elk and other cervids for trophy-seekers, letting them pay to shoot the semi-tame animals trapped in enclosures for guaranteed kills. The Humane Society of the United States Indiana State Director Erin Huang issued the following statement in response:

“At a time when states across the country are taking steps to crack down on these unsporting pay-to-play facilities, it’s disappointing that some members of our legislature are working to expand this mockery of traditional hunting. Captive hunting ranches have long worn out their welcome in the Hoosier State after attempts to legalize this shameful industry have failed over the last decade. These facilities pose serious disease risks to the health of our native deer herds, and The Humane Society of the United States urges the legislature to shut them down once and for all.”


  • In 2005, the Indiana Department of Natural Resources issued an emergency rule banning captive hunts, but a lawsuit filed by captive hunt operators stalled enforcement of the ban. A handful of captive hunt facilities continue to operate in Indiana under an injunction.
  • A 2010 statewide survey conducted by Mason-Dixon Polling & Research, Inc. revealed that 80 percent of Indiana voters opposed captive hunts of large mammals such as deer and elk, and 81 percent supported a complete prohibition on captive hunts in the state.
  • Earlier this year, the Indianapolis Star released an 18-month in-depth, eye-opening investigation on the captive hunting and deer breeding industry, and chronicled the connections between captive ranches and the spread of chronic wasting disease.

Media Contact: Kaitlin Sanderson: 240-672-8397; ksanderson@humanesociety.org

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