August 6, 2015
Illinois Policymakers Urged to Protect Bobcats From Fur Traders and Trophy Hunters After California Bans Bobcat Trapping
Less than a month after Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner signed into law legislation legalizing a bobcat hunt in the state for the first time in over 40 years, the California Fish and Game Commission voted to prohibit bobcat trapping statewide. The state already had a ban on the use of body-gripping traps; yesterday’s action forbids trapping with any device. Marc Ayers, Illinois State Director for The Humane Society of the United States issued the following statement in response:
“We are disappointed that while other states are progressing with their protections for bobcats, Illinois has taken a significant step backwards. As public outrage spreads over the tragic killing of another cat, Cecil the lion, a spotlight has been shown on the barbaric nature of trophy hunting. Illinois is considering allowing horrific methods to kill bobcats – including steel-jawed leghold traps and hounding – and we implore the state to take any steps possible to keep these shy and elusive creatures protected.”
After the Illinois bobcat-killing bill was voted down on the final day of the legislative session, downstate lawmakers in Illinois created a scene and demanded a re-vote. They made outlandish claims and nine lawmakers switched their votes from "no" to "yes," allowing the bill to pass by just one vote. The measure may allow the use of packs of dogs to hunt bobcats and the use of inhumane and indiscriminate steel-jawed leghold traps.
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