SC may outlaw bear hunting tactic

Wednesday, Dec. 1, 2010 4:08 PM
Last updated 4:47 PM
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COLUMBIA -- Captive bears would be rescued by the S.C. Department of Natural Resources from people who chain them and then sic their hunting dogs on them, if a bill introduced by a Columbia Democrat becomes law.

"This bill is the first step in outlawing this savage act of animal abuse," said S.C. Senator Joel Lourie in a statement.

"South Carolina should be known for its natural beauty and hospitality, not the only state where you can sic dogs on chained bears."

The practice of "bear-baying" involves removing a bear's teeth and claws and chaining it. The hunting dogs are then allowed to attack the immobilized bear as a training exercise.

DNR spokesman Brett Witt declined to stake a position on Lourie's bill, but said, "The possession of black bears by individuals is not considered biologically sound, safe for the local community, or in the best long-term interest of the wild black bear resource. We also do not consider bear baying/baiting a legitimate field trial."

He said no additional permits will be issued to allow people to keep the animals, adding, "no additional permits will be issued for the captive possession of black bears in South Carolina, other than those legally possessed in another state and brought into South Carolina for temporary exhibition."

South Carolina is currently the only state where the practice of bear baying is legal, according to the S.C. Senate Democratic Caucus. The DNR initially issued 37 permits in 2006, but through attrition the number of permits has fallen to 22, according to Witt.

Lourie's legislation requires the state agency to place the bears in suitable settings, such as a zoo or animal park.

Cary Chamblee, spokesman for the S.C. Camo Coalition, an organization representing a range of sportsmen, has called the practice of bear-baying unethical.

State lawmakers will return to work next month.

Reach Sarita Chourey at sarita.chourey@morris.com or (803) 727-4257

Comments (6) Add comment
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Fiat_Lux
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Fiat_Lux 12/01/10 - 08:03 pm
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Sweet son
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Sweet son 12/01/10 - 06:12 pm
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Sounds like raising quail and

Sounds like raising quail and then releasing them for bird hunting. Don't get me wrong, there is nothing like hearing hounds barking and baying as they push deer along but the deer at least have a chance

humbleopinion
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humbleopinion 12/01/10 - 08:22 pm
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Absolutely barbaric. I never

Absolutely barbaric. I never heard of this practice but it goes against everything civilized man stands for. God is weeping at how we treat some of his creations. Hunting animals with clean kills is fine when used for food and clothing or other products, but this is just sick. The more I hear about humans the more I love my dog.

momster59
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momster59 12/01/10 - 08:43 pm
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"The more I hear about humans

"The more I hear about humans the more I love my dog."

HUMANS!?!?! Absolutely inhuman!!! What human would do this horrific, torturous thing to a defenseless animal? Remove it's claws and teeth, chain it where it can't escape and then sic a pack of hunting dogs on it to kill it? Other than to feed some monster's need to witness needless, gratuitous violence, what purpose does this serve? And South Carolina is the only state that stills allows it. Why am I not surprised?

PUPPYMOMMA
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PUPPYMOMMA 12/01/10 - 10:44 pm
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Pass this bill ASAP, please.

Pass this bill ASAP, please.

fontana
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fontana 12/02/10 - 10:59 am
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SC is the "mobile home park"

SC is the "mobile home park" of the United States. The stuff that goes on over there, with the politicians and residents, should be kept(hidden) from the rest of the nation. Dog and chicken fighting in SC is their designated state sport. The place is just a national and international(in Argentina especially) embarrassment. Passing this bill will only run this barbaric practice underground, along with all the other illegal stuff carried on by the barbarians.
*Note to the Morris News Service: don't use big words like "tactic" in the headline. For those that do go to school, thats a word not taught in SC, thus not understood.

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