Alaska is quickly moving to outlaw the use of stun guns when hunting. Not because they don’t have laws against animal cruelty. They do. Specifically, Title 3. Agriculture and Animals. Chapter 55. Care of Animals; Control of Dogs. Article 2. Care of Animals. Title 11. Criminal Law. Chapter 61. Offenses Against Public Order. Article 1. Riot, Disorderly Conduct, and Related Offenses. According to the bill’s summary (i.e. the readable bit), the statute criminalized . . .
A person commits cruelty to animals if the person: knowingly inflicts severe and prolonged physical pain or suffering on an animal; with criminal negligence, fails to care for an animal and, as a result, causes the death of the animal or causes severe physical pain or prolonged suffering to the animal; kills or injures an animal by the use of a decompression chamber; intentionally kills or injures a pet or livestock by the use of poison; knowingly kills or injures an animal with the intent to intimidate, threaten, or terrorize another person; or knowingly engages in sexual conduct with an animal, films such activity, induces such activity, or intentionally permits this to occur on premises under the person’s control. The court may also prohibit or limit the defendant’s ownership, possession, or custody of animals for up to 10 years for convictions under this section.
To paraphrase Mad Max II, a clever prosecutor would have a weapon under there. And even if he didn’t, what’s the big deal? It’s not like someone’s walking around thinking, hmmm, what about using a Taser on animals to “hunt” in a whole new way? At least not until now . . .
The Alaska Board of Game has passed a statewide rule prohibiting the use of stun guns when hunting game or posing with it, in an effort to prevent what state wildlife officials call “catch and release hunting.”
“Conceivably someone could Taser a moose or bear, go up and get a picture taken with it, shut the (Taser) off and then release the animal,” said Larry Lewis, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game biologist in Soldotna who wrote the proposal.
Lewis said there have been no reports of something like that happening, but with no regulations on the book to outlaw such an action, “it’s ripe for abuse,” Lewis said. “What we wanted to do was kind of head off at the pass any non-trained use of this equipment.”
Thanks to the suntimes.com, we now know that Alaska, home of “arch conservative” Vice Presidential hopeful Sarah Palin, has a Board of Game that’s game for laws that aren’t needed that will, no doubt, led to their abuse by well-meaning (cough cough) bureaucrats. (“I swear I Tased it so it wouldn’t eat me!”). Oh wait!
“Restricting the use of (stun guns) will reduce the risk of improper or unethical use on wildlife by the public or other agency personnel who are unfamiliar with the potential effects and hazards,” Fish and Game said in a statement.
The measure does not bar Alaskans from using stun guns on moose or bear if being attacked.
Whew! Hang on; wouldn’t Tase and release hunting be more “ethical” than shooting it?