After a meeting of a government caucus to consider the issue, Alberta Premier Ralph Klein announced that deer and elk game farms in Alberta would not be allowed to offer hunters the opportunity to shoot the game. Deer and elk game farms are struggling financially, and had hoped opening up their facilities to hunters might make them profitable.
Like all arguments against canned hunts, Klein fell back on some vague metaphysical view of hunting that requires some poorly defined amount of fairness in order to be legitimate. According to Klein,
To go to a hunt farm and shoot a penned-up animal, an animal that doesn’t have a chance, I think it’s abhorrent. . . . I think it’s abhorrent to take wild animals and have them penned up and available to hunters who don’t want to take the time to go out into the wild.
Good for Klein. If he allows canned hunts, what’s next? Someone will come along with the audacity to suggest outright domestication of animals and all of a sudden Alberta would be burdened by the horrors of settled animal agriculture. Chickens, cows and other animals would be held by farmers and just marched off to slaughterhouses without even a chance at escape. How sporting would that be?
If Klein is a vegan and plans next to dismantle all animal agriculture in Alberta, then he is wrongheaded but at least principled. More likely, however, Klein is here engaging in a common hypocrisy that places the hunting of deer and elk in enclosed environments on a different moral plane than raising cattle destined for the slaughterhouse. There is no justification at all for this sort of silly distinction.
Alberta rejects hunting deer and elk on game farms. Canoe.Ca, August 8, 2002.
Game farms ‘abhorrent.’ Michelle Mark, Calgary Sun, August 8, 2002.
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