Humane Society against Sunday hunting

Published 9:24 am Friday, November 18, 2011

To the Editor:

The demographics of those who venture outdoors have shifted steadily in the past few decades, with the number of individuals headed into the woods to hike and view wildlife drastically outnumbering hunters.

This makes our state’s longstanding tradition keeping one day free of hunting increasingly relevant.

The Humane Society of the United States, representing more than 300,000 Virginians who all deserve their fair share of time outdoors, supports preserving Virginia’s longstanding tradition of keeping Sundays free of hunting (“Groups fight Sunday hunting,” Oct. 15).

Wildlife watchers, horseback riders, dog walkers, cyclists and other outdoor recreationists deserve one day to enjoy the most beautiful time of the year, without safety concerns imposing on the tranquility of their time in nature.

If fairness alone isn’t reason enough to maintain the existing law; prohibiting Sunday hunting allows economically lucrative outdoor recreation to flourish on Sundays. It’s no surprise that we’re a tourist destination for wildlife watchers, who according to U.S. Fish and Wildlife statistics outspend hunters more than 14-to-1 in Virginia.

The Humane Society of the United States is the nation’s largest animal protection organization, backed by 11 million Americans, or 1 out of every 28. When it comes to wildlife, The HSUS focuses its resources on ending captive hunting, fox pens and poaching practices that most traditional hunters agree are unsportsmanlike and abhorrent.

We also work to maintain existing protections for wildlife and the people who enjoy it. We support maintaining what little balance there is between outdoor user groups by saying no to Sunday hunting.

Laura Donahue,
Virginia Director
The Humane Society of the United States