Federal Issue Brief

 H.R. 2210, Sportsmanship in Hunting Act of 2011

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AVMA Position:

No Action

Summary:

Introduced by Congressman Steve Cohen (TN-9th), H.R. 2210 amends the federal criminal code to prohibit knowingly: (1) transferring, transporting, or possessing a confined exotic animal for purposes of allowing the killing or injuring of that animal for entertainment or for the collection of a trophy; or (2) making available a computer-assisted remote hunt. Defines "confined exotic animal" as a mammal of a species not indigenous to the United States that has been held in captivity for the majority of its life or a continuous period of one year.

Background:

Computer-assisted remote hunting can be defined as “the use of a computer or any other device, equipment or software, to control remotely the aiming and discharge of a rifle, shotgun, handgun, bow and arrow, cross-bow or any other implement to hunt wildlife.” Separate bills from previous Congressional cycles were combined to create this current legislation. Previous bills were H.R. 2711 and H.R. 3829 from the 110th Congress.

Justification:

  • The AVMA supports language of the bill prohibiting computer-assisted remote hunts.
    • Computer-assisted remote hunting appears to not be consistent with the AVMA’s Animal Welfare Principles in that it circumvents ‘fair chase’.
    • The practice raises serious welfare concerns for the animals involved.
  • The definition of “confined exotic animal” is not appropriate for the intent of the bill. The bill should also address relevant native species such as the large number of captive cervids, game birds, stock fish, etc. within the U.S. 
  • The erroneous definition in the bill of “captivity” will likely lead to: confusion because of lack of consistency with existing definitions in regulations; difficulty in enforcement efforts; and favoring of larger wildlife captivity facilities over smaller facilities that cannot meet the acreage requirement. 
  • The bill could usurp or confuse the authorities different levels of government (i.e. Federal, State, and Local) currently have pertaining to the importation, exportation, transportation, possession, welfare, usage, taking, and many other aspects relative to exotic animals.

Current Status:

House Committee on the Judiciary, Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland Security.

AVMA Contact:

Dr. Whitney L. Miller, Assistant Director, AVMA Governmental Relations Division, 202-289-3211.