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Penned hunting is the practice of shooting an animal in an enclosure for a trophy and it is banned in every province except Quebec and Saskatchewan. Clients – often elderly, disabled, or new hunters – pay a fee to shoot an animal of their choice. Many hunters who are inexperienced or unable to hunt in the wild go to game farms because a trophy is pretty much guaranteed.
The animals, both wild and exotic, are sometimes trapped in the wild to stock the enclosures but more often raised in captivity, and some are surplus animals from zoos. Some zoos may breed animals because the young animals attract more visitors, but at some zoos the result is a surplus of animals, some of which end up at places like game farms.
Because they are raised in captivity and most become used to being cared for by humans, animals in these operations don’t always run from hunters. Some are so tame they will come up to humans at the rattling of a food pale. Consequently, they don’t recognize when a hunter is there to kill them. They are tame targets, an easy kill that defies the fundamental principle of the fair chase. Even many hunters condemn penned hunting as unsportmanlike and in violation of hunting principles.
Some hunting operations are large enough to have wooded areas where animals can run with some chance of escape, but even here it is highly unlikely that they’ll get away because they are in an enclosed area and the hunter can easily track them down.
Baiting stations are also used in penned hunting, where the animals will come to get food and give hunters an easy target. Sometimes they are even shot in their cages.
Diseases, such as chronic wasting disease, spread easily on these game farms because of the large number of animals in a relatively small area. The risk of transmission is even higher because animals share food sources. It is also possible for disease to be spread to free roaming wildlife that come in contact with game farm animals.
Canadian operations hold both wild Canadian and exotic animals, including buffalo, different types of deer, boars, elk, and sheep.
These are the most obvious reasons why penned hunting should not be permitted. In an enclosed area and raised by humans, animals are physically restricted in cages and enclosures and psychologically conditioned to accept human contact. This hunting is unethical and violates the principles of the fair hunt. It also promotes the unnecessary slaughter of animals for a trophy. These are the most obvious reasons why penned hunting should not be permitted.Print this page