Online Hunting Now a Target Out West


California is the latest state to target the controversial practice of
Internet hunting. The state’s Fish and Game Commission is preparing
emergency regulations to ban what is known as “point, click and kill”
hunting.


In Internet-assisted hunting, promoted as a service for the handicapped, a
remote user can fire a mounted rifle at live game. The first known hunt of
this sort took place in April on a ranch outside of San Antonio, Texas. No
animals were shot that day.


In the aftermath of the publicity over the hunt sponsored by Liveshot.com, a
number of states are rushing to pass legislation to stop any future hunts.
In addition, there is bill pending in Congress
to bar the practice.


The California Senate passed a bill banning Internet-assisted hunting in late April.
In addition to prohibiting remote hunting, the bill also bans the import or
export of any animal killed using computer-assisted hunting.


Banning the importing and exporting of animals shot during Internet-assisted
hunting is directed at Liveshot’s offer to butcher and package or mount the heads of any game shot through the site.


The California bill now goes to the State Assembly, but, as lawmakers debate
the legislation, the Fish and Game Commission is preparing regulations.


In Texas, where legislation is also pending, its Parks and Wildlife
Department failed to stop Internet-assisted hunting because the agency only
has the authority to stop the shooting of native animals. Liveshot offers
exotic game from Africa and India.


U.S. Rep. Tom Davis (R-Va.) introduced federal legislation against
Internet-assisted hunting in April, calling for a maximum five-year prison
sentence for violators. The legislation has gained the support of the Humane
Society, the Safari Club and the National Rifle Association.


The groups claim the practice is not a sport.

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