Snowshoe hare Letter


Published in the Concord Monitor April 8, 2018

Letter: Snowshoe hares shouldn’t be used to train dogs

Sunday, April 08, 2018

Did you know that the N.H. Fish and Game Department allows the capture of our wild snowshoe hares so that they may be used as live tools for training beagles on how to assist in hare hunting?

N.H. Fish and Game, about 10 years ago, began allowing beagle hunt clubs to capture and keep in captivity these wild animals for that purpose. This is unnecessary cruelty. There is no need to use live animals in dog training. Dogs are smart and can be trained without using live animals.

At the February 2018 Fish and Game Commission meeting there was one commissioner who opposed this practice and had the courage to say, “I don’t think it is right to live trap our wildlife, to capture and use them for training.” He is right, and kudos go to him. This captivity is an exception to New Hampshire’s long-standing policy of keeping our native wildlife wild and free.

There is a proposal in rulemaking to extend the season for capture and for increasing the number of persons permitted to do so. This is happening, now, in rulemaking. Please write and say no to this increase. However, go the step further and let Fish and Game know that the capture of wild snowshoe hares to train hunting dogs is an abusive practice that should end completely.

Comments are needed; send them to comments@wildlife.nh.gov. Make sure to put “Snowshoe Hare Capture Rule” in the subject line of your email.

You have until April 11 at 4 p.m. to submit your comments.