Sportsmen's Monthly: Destroying the Pack 2021 Vol. 2 Spring | Page 9

The animal-rights movement doesn ’ t always need to attack hunting directly to end it and undermine wildlife management . They can chip away at practices that make it harder to participate in niche aspects of hunting or make it economically impracticable and financially impossible . We often see this tactic repeatedly in legislation related to sporting dogs ; by picking at kenneling , breeding , training and selling practices , the animal-rights movement can make it too expensive to produce quality dogs , which makes puppies too costly for the average hunter .

Dog by Zuzana Kadlecová from the Noun Project
Sure , we ’ ve seen direct attacks on sporting dogs , such as in California , Oregon , Washington and Colorado , where we ’ ve lost hound hunting for bears , lions and other predators , or this year in Nevada where a citizen ’ s petition to ban bear hounds was rejected by the wildlife commission , but the vast amount of legislation related to dogs happens quietly in both conservative and liberal states , and under the guise of animal welfare . By couching their incremental legislation as animal welfare , animal-rights activists can blur the line between the two and claim small victories as a foundation for future legislation to justify more .
Many proposed regulations seem reasonable , and sometimes legislators genuinely don ’ t understand
the peripheral and downstream ramifications of their bills beyond the intended purpose of ending abusive practices within the general population . But when viewed through the lens ( and pocketbook ) of breeders , trainers , hunters , field trial and hunt test participants , these laws negative effect the sporting dog world .
Conscientious breeders don ’ t make a ton of profit on puppies , and many proposed regulations would make it impossible to continue . Diligent breeding gets expensive , especially for performance dogs . Traveling during hunting or pursuit seasons , competing in field trials and hunt tests , training time alone , not to mention the associated costs of gas , hotels , training birds and other equipment , which is on
top of ordinary costs , such as food , vaccinations and routine veterinarian care , which can push $ 2,000 per year , per dog , and then throw genetic testing of both parents into the equation and puppy costs start to climb quickly .
While we support animal welfare and understand the need to protect good animals
from bad people , one-sizefits-all legislation that doesn ’ t account for common and accepted training , kenneling and breeding practices of sporting dogs ensnares good breeders , trainers and owners in the same dragnet as malicious ones . Quality of care and condition of the animals should be the standard when