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Help the McNeil Bear Sanctuary off linmits to hunting

Senators Take On Sarah Palin, Offer Bill To Ban Aerial Wolf Hunting

The Huffington Post / July 29, 2009

As she gave up her governorship on Sunday, Alaska Republican Sarah Palin took a dig at her "Hollywood" detractors for pushing their anti-gun sentiments on the "non-elites."

"You're gonna see anti-hunting, anti-Second Amendment circuses from Hollywood,'' she said. "They use Alaska as a fundraising tool for their anti-Second Amendment causes... Hollywood needs to know: 'We eat, therefore we hunt.'"

It was a classic Palin bit, resurfacing a campaign-related dispute between her and Hollywood actress Ashley Judd, who had narrated an ad for the Defenders of Wildlife calling out the then-vice presidential candidate for supporting aerial wolf hunting.

Now, however, the argument has expanded to include Democrats in Congress. On Wednesday, Sens. Diane Feinstein of California and Ben Cardin or Maryland introduced legislation that would explicitly prohibit hunters from shooting and killing wildlife from aircraft. To ensure that anyone following the issue didn't miss the political element, the senators noted in the press release announcing the legislation's introduction that it would specifically end the targeting of "wolves."

The bill, which is endorsed by, among other groups, the Defenders of Wildlife, closes a loophole in the Aerial Hunting Act of 1971. And in an accompanying statement, Feinstein didn't hide her disdain of the practice that Palin now uses to illustrate the contrast between herself and the Hollywood crowd.

"Shooting wildlife from airplanes is not sport -- it is cruel and inhumane. It undermines the hunting principle of a fair chase and often leads to a slow and painful death for the hunted animals. This practice should be banned," the California Democrat said. "So, I've introduced a balanced bill that will enable states to responsibly manage wildlife populations, but ban the cruel practice of aerial hunting for sport. And it will not impinge on legitimate sport hunting."

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