Wolf Song of Alaska News

Bill Would Ban Online Hunting of Game in Alaska

Sabra Ayres / Anchorage Daily News / March 29, 2007


JUNEAU - Lawmakers are trying to ban Internet hunting, a practice of remote control hunting that allows computer users to shoot live game via a rifle linked to a Webcam.

The practice started in Texas, where a Rocksprings businessman said he was trying to help disabled hunters by allowing them to use the Internet to hunt sheep, boar and other animals on a farm. For a fee, participants were able to use Webcam to aim at an animal, then click a mouse to shoot.

The practice quickly caught fire from animal rights groups and Texas lawmakers, who banned it in 2005. Twenty-five other states followed suit.

The National Rifle Association and the U.S. Humane Society are pushing for federal legislation to ban what animal rights groups have called "pay per view" slaughter.

Now, Rep. Bob Buch, D-Anchorage, says he wants to outlaw Internet hunting before it makes its way up to Alaska.

On Monday, Buch introduced a House bill that would prohibit individuals from participating in online hunting. It will also ban anyone from implementing service or facilities to support the sport.

"At first I thought Internet hunting must be a joke, but unfortunately, it's not," Buch said. "We have some of the best, big game in the world. We need to ban this practice before it hits Alaska."

Reporter Sabra Ayres can be reached at sayres@adn.com or in Juneau at 907-586-1531.

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