Big Win for Raccoons in Georgia

by Julie Robertson

When animal advocates found out that Georgia House Bill 423 was gaining momentum fur begin to fly. HB 423 would have allowed raccoons in Georgia to be trapped and used in terrifying field trial competitions where they are held in cages while hunters train their dogs to “tree-them”. Terrified caged raccoons are flung high into trees or hauled across a field or body of water as frantic, barking dogs give chase. They are forced to endure this ordeal repeatedly-sometimes for hours on end.

In spite of the wealth, lobbying power, and political influence, sponsors of the bill had no idea what they were up against. In fact, most thought that HB 423 would pass with flying colors. The bill had already passed through the state house with only one opposing vote, and was poised to pass through the senate. That’s when local groups, Georgia Animal Rights and Protection and the League of Humane Voters, sent out an emergency call for help. Word spread and immediately animal activists, animal welfare groups, and compassionate citizens from all over Georgia and around the world responded en masse.

E-mails, calls, and a petition that received more than 20,000 signatures began pouring in to the state senators and Governor. The outcry was heard loud and clear by legislators and HB 423 was defeated.

This is an incredible example of how the nonviolent, pro-wildlife public can come together to defeat hunters and trappers. If it can happen in Georgia, it can happen everywhere.

Georgia Animal Rights and Protection
League of Humane Voters

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