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I-177 ends cruelty, not access

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Why is it necessary to pass legislation for people to be humane? We have laws against abusing domestic animals, why not wild species? If I took a dog into sub-zero woods, secured his foot and stopped circulation, then returned to beat him to death, I would be convicted of animal abuse.

Suggestions have been made that classes be offered for trappers, like hunter safety. What is ethical, moral trapping? Would such a class have helped the trapper who reported catching and releasing two dogs "without tags"? One came home a day later, paw frozen, and four surgeries and two years later, is still in pain. The second returned home in four days, dying a week later at the veterinarian. Both dogs had tags with phone numbers clearly visible. A simple phone call from the trapper could have made the difference.

Hunters should be proud to not being lumped with trappers. They believe in fair chase and teach their youth about humane death. They use the meat to feed their families, not to sell for profit.

The Missoulian suggested there are enough remote public lands for all. But trappers today generally don't get far into the backcountry. They take their four wheelers, snowmobiles and children where the access is easy. Why must we abuse and kill to have a wilderness experience with our children? One generation of snowshoeing, cross country skiing, learning about winter habits of wildlife, is all it would take to give our kids and grandkids family memories they would have for a lifetime without seeing bludgeoned and suffering animals, finally put out of their misery. Letters from regretful, reformed trappers recall the pathetic cries of trapped animals, all in the name of “tradition.”

Please vote yes on Initiative 177.

Dorrit Karasek,

Missoula

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