Three of the leading statewide conservation organizations in Indiana, The Indiana Wildlife Federation, the Indiana Deer Hunters Association, and The Wildlife Society, Indiana Chapter, have filed an Amicus Curiae (Friend of the Court) brief supporting Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller’s appeal of the Harrison County Court decision that erroneously concluded canned hunting is legal and privately owned deer cannot be regulated by the Indiana Department of Natural Resources (IDNR).
“The law is clear. Shooting captive-raised deer in pens - canned hunting – is illegal, and we’re glad to see Attorney General Zoeller taking action to reinforce this once and for all” said Barbara Simpson, Executive Director of the Indiana Wildlife Federation. Glenn Lange of The Wildlife Society added that, “canned hunting operations violate the long standing North American Model of Wildlife Conservation that holds wildlife are a public trust held by the state for all citizens-not a privileged few.” The Indiana Deer Hunters Association advocates ethical hunting practices, and opposes shooting captive deer that have no opportunity to escape. “Canned hunting is an unethical practice that gives reputable fair-chase hunters a bad name and hunting a bad image,” said Joe Bacon, President of the Indiana Deer Hunters Association. “We’re also very concerned about the threat of disease that could spread to the wild deer herd, especially chronic wasting disease and bovine tuberculosis, that’s associated with these types of operations,” stressed Lange.
A summary of the amicus brief points out the following:
• Indiana law authorizes regulation of “wild animals” whether publically or privately owned.
• It’s illegal to kill deer except as state statute or rule specifically allows.
• Private ownership of deer is permitted only with a game breeder’s permit for a deer livestock operation.
• Deer owned by private livestock operations may not be hunted.