The Indiana Senate shot down legislation that would legalize captive hunting operations. H.B. 1453 was the latest attempt by the captive hunting industry to legalize privately-owned facilities to stock deer and elk 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:

“Despite the best efforts from the captive hunting lobby and their friends in the legislature, the Indiana Senate thankfully defeated legislation that would have legalized this shameful industry in our state. Year after year, the majority of Hoosiers—including sportsmen, conservationists and animal welfare advocates—and lawmakers adamantly oppose this legislation, and the voting record once again reflects this sentiment. The Humane Society of the United States thanks those legislators who voted against H.B. 1453, and strongly urges the legislature to seriously consider pursuing a strict prohibition on this activity once and for all to end this decade-long fight.”

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. After two courts issued conflicting decisions, a recent Court of Appeals decision ruled in favor of the captive hunt facilities, and declared that the DNR did not have the authority to ban such operations. The state Attorney General has appealed this decision to the Indiana Supreme Court.

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