The Indiana House of Representatives is currently considering legislation, Senate Bill 487, which contains an amendment aimed at legalizing canned hunting here in Indiana. Representative Matt Ubelhor, R-Bloomfield, authored and presented the amendment to the house committee on natural resources Monday, April 1. Despite vigorous public testimony in opposition, the committee voted to accept the amendment. Representatives Lloyd Arnold and Tom Saunders voted against the amendment, citing their constituent’s negative feelings for canned hunting. We commend their commitment to their constituency. The bill, amendment attached, came to the house floor last Tuesday. Long announced his opposition on Thursday.
Also on Thursday, representatives of our sporting and conservation organizations held a press conference at the statehouse to voice unified opposition to the bill. Each of us spoke of concerns held by our members: disease that threatens Indiana’s wild deer herd, commercialization and exploitation of wildlife, and the unethical practice of shooting deer in enclosures. We reiterated that over 80 percent of Hoosiers oppose canned hunting. We documented our stand by signing a written proclamation and presenting it to the governor's office. Just minutes before our press conference began we were told of Long's announcement.
We urge the Indiana House of Representatives to kill Senate Bill 487. We as representatives of our respective organizations, and 80 percent of Indiana residents, press for the end of canned hunting in our state. That end begins with the defeat of SB 487. Again, we thank Senate Pro Temp Long for his stand.
— Steve Cecil, Indiana Wildlife Federation; Doug Allman, Indiana Deer Hunter Association; Jim Sweeney, Izaak Walton League of America; Don Gorney, Amos Butler Audubon Society; Tom James, Quality Deer Management Association; Darren Reed, Indiana Conservation Officers’ Organization