HB 352 – Amends the Wildlife Code & removes the prohibition on taking bobcats in the State.
Bobcats in Illinois need you! Please OPPOSE HB 352! As members of our Cougar Fund Family, you have shown your dedication to wild animals in the past by using our Action Alerts to contact lawmakers on the brink of enacting laws that are cruel and unfair. This one is just a little different…Illinois has a system that allows people to simply express their support or opposition to a Bill.
Click here to fill out a “Witness Slip” in opposition to HB 352. (The link will open the Witness Slip in a new tab or page in your browser – if it doesn’t open, check your pop-up blocker settings). Please make sure you check the box that says “Opponent” under Section III (“Position”) of the form! You must fill in all of the required fields on the Witness Slip (If you don’t have an organization/title to provide, simply putting in “Private Citizen” will suffice). Witness Slips must be submitted before 10:00am Central Time on Thursday, May 14th (this is when the Illinois Senate Agriculture Committee will hold its hearing).
Reasons to OPPOSE HB 352:
- Livestock depredation by bobcats is NOT a problem in Illinois. The effect of predators on farm animals is always exaggerated in proportion to losses from all causes. For instance the national figures from the most recent report compiled by USDA showed that only one twentieth of one percent (0.2%) of livestock are lost to depredation. Of this, less than 0.1% of total cow/calf losses are to non-dog/coyote predators. In Illinois there were only two-recorded bobcat removals in 2014 according to USDA Wildlife Services. Farmers loose far more animals to non-predator causes such as respiratory and digestive illness (94.5% of all losses)
- Non-lethal deterrents and conflict prevention are widely practiced in Illinois according to the same report. There are obviously growers who believe in this practice- why would they persist if non-lethal deterrents were not protecting them?
- The only excuse to start hunting bobcats is financial gain, both for the State and for the individuals involved. License fees will add revenue to Illinois DNR and the hunters and trappers will take advantage of the extremely high transactions available with the Russian and Asian markets that like to buy our North American fur.
- The North American Model of Wildlife Conservation expressly forbids the commercialization of native wild species. Bobcat fur is just about as commercial as it gets!
- Quite simply, hunting is NOT conflict-prevention; it is random culling that does nothing to target ‘problem’ animals.