A coalition of animal rights groups calling itself The Committee to Restore the Dove Shooting Ban is collecting signatures in Michigan to block that state’s recent approval of dove hunting. Earlier this year, Michigan became the 41st state to allow hunting of mourning doves.
The group needs to collect 158,000 signatures by March 2005 in order to place their proposed ban on the November 2005 ballot. The earliest such a ban would go into effect would be 2006, which means dove hunting will almost certainly proceed in Michigan this year and next.
Michigan will likely approve trial hunts for the first few year, these being held in counties that border Indiana and Ohio — both states which already allow dove hunting. That would be followed by studies of the impact of hunting on the dove population before deciding whether to expand the hunt into other parts of Michigan.
Fund for Animals president Michael Markarian told the Detroit Free Press,
Voters will have the final say in whether the bird of peace should be blasted into pieces. There is no reason to shoot them, other than for target practice.
Coalition to launch petition drive to ban dove hunting. Bob Gwizdz, Booth Newspapers, August 6, 2004
Opponents of mourning dove hunting to mount petition drive aimed at 2006. Associated Press, August 5, 2004.
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