Human Crimes Against Animals, Part 5 - Canned Hunting
An Animal Rights Article from


Dave Bernazani

Worldwide, including the U.S. and U.K. – Trophy aerial hunting, canned animal “hunts” on game ranches, live captive turkey shoots, gamebird (pheasant and partridge) shoots (Cheney specials), live pigeon shoots, even captive lion hunts in South Africa. This shameful practice is killing for the sheer pleasure of it; these are cowardly slobs that are too lazy to actually hunt, they just want to shoot fish in a barrel. Even regular hunters despise them.

canned hunt

Who’s fighting it: HSUS, SHARK, Animal Aid, Big Cat Rescue, North Dakota Hunters for Fair Chase, Project Censored, Defenders Action Fund,, Animal Rights Africa,,

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Hunters say the thrill of hunting comes from the chase not from the kill. The booming canned hunt business tells a different story.
Every year in Britain, around 40 million pheasants and partridges are mass-produced like commercial poultry so that they can be shot down by wealthy ‘guns’. This bloody and brutal end to their lives is the final insult. From birth, they are kept in cages, sheds and pens, in which disease and death are a daily feature.

canned hunt

Canned hunts are held at private trophy hunting facilities where shooters pay to kill exotic and native animals——even endangered species——trapped within fenced enclosures. Animals on canned hunts often come from private breeders, animal dealers, and even zoos and circuses. Frequently, the animals have been hand-raised and bottle-fed, so they have lost their fear of people.

Even in large enclosures on these so-called game farms, animals are lured with bait to a location where a shooter waits, thus removing any element of sportsmanship. The International Union for the Conservations of Nature and Natural Resources lists the scimitar-horned oryx as extinct in the wild; the addax, California bighorn sheep, European bison and pere david deer as critically endangered; the dama gazelle, nubian ibex, Arabian oryx and markhor as endangered; the blackbuck and bongo as near threatened; and the aoudad, eld’s deer, barasingha, African lion, mouflon, yak and tahr as vulnerable, yet these animals are all shot regularly on canned hunting ranches.

As many as half a million so-called “hunters” pay hundreds and often thousands of dollars to some 4,000 canned hunt promoters in the U.S. alone, to be sure of a kill — even if the chase is just a matter of finding the best hole in a cage to poke a weapon through. Shooting fish in a barrel may soon be not a metaphor but an option for those who can’t afford to kill a captive African lion ($5,995, “with good mane,” according to a recent price list).

In the canned hunt scenario, animals are fenced in or kept in cages until a “hunter” calls for the beast’s release, at which time the “sport” commences. Often the released animal can only run in circles around an enclosed compound (some smaller than an acre), without an escape route. Some even make desperate runs for safety under parked cars, but to no avail. The animals, including some exotic species, are fired upon at nearly point blank range, ensuring the “sportsman” of a kill. After witnessing a hunt, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service special agent Bill Talkin said “None of the animals got more than 100 feet from the cage when they were shot.”

canned hunt

The typical canned hunter is an older, wealthy man who wants guaranteed success of bringing home a trophy to mount, without the added hassle of trekking into the woods. The ill-fated animals include endangered species such as African leopards, exotic cats, Bengal tigers, grizzly bears, etc. And while most canned hunt promoters know better than to openly advertise opportunities to shoot endangered species, most trophy hunters know how to wangle the deals they want — shooting a couple of animals legally on initial visits while getting to know the staff, flashing money; dropping hints.

The most popular form of canned hunting in North America is captive bird-shooting. It is estimated that about 55 million tame birds are killed in canned hunts each year in the U.S.

President George Bush celebrated his election in 1988 with a bird-killing spree at the Lazy F Ranch near Beeville, Texas. When questioned about it, he protested “These aren’t animals, these are wild quail.” And this is the type of “hunt” Dick Cheney was participating in when he shot his friend in the face– thus highlighting how utterly stupid this activity is.

And the worst: every year in Pennsylvania, cowardly “hunters” slaughter harmless pigeons and shoot turkeys bred in cages and chained to tires. What more needs to be said about these clowns?

Go to Human Crimes against Animals, Part 6 - Circuses
Go to Human Crimes Against Animals - Introduction

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