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NY Times on horse racing and bear hunting

October 14, 2014 Leave a comment Go to comments

Today’s, Monday, October 13, New York Times, has two stories about humans killing members of other species for sport. Though it pains me to share them, and I know they are not fun to read, it is important that we respond so that the Times editors know that animal coverage matters to readers.

One story is on the New Jersey and New York bear hunts. The other is on a particularly deadly horse race.

The bear hunt story, by Lisa Foderaro, is titled, “Trying to Lure Hunters as Bears Get Too Close.” (Page A15.) It tells us that state wildlife officials in New Jersey are trying to entice people to shoot bears. We learn that bear hunting was reintroduced in the state in 2010, in an effort to reduce the number of bears from an estimated 3,400. We also learn, “In New York, the state issued a 10-year black bear management plan in May that extended the firearms season in the Catskills and the Western Hudson Valley by 16 days in September and also opened up new areas for bear hunting upstate.”

We read about “nuisance bears” who are “euthanized” after breaking into people’s homes or destroying crops.

The story is accompanied by heartbreaking photos. You’ll find it on line at
http://www.nytimes.com/2014/10/13/nyregion/trying-to-lure-hunters-as-bears-get-too-close.html
OR http://tinyurl.com/nkgrn67

On the cover of the Sport section, page D1, is a story by Sam Borden, titled, “This Leap Is for Horses’ Lives.” The story focuses on a Steeplechase held near Prague, and specifically a jump known as the Taxis Ditch, which is “named for a 19th-century prince who persuaded organizers that they should keep the dangerous jump in the race instead of omitting it out of fear….” We learn that since 1927, “24 horses have died after falling at the Taxis, including one, a brown mare named Zulejka, who was euthanized on Sunday.” (I am delighted to share that as a direct quote — it is the reporter, Borden, or the Times editors, not I, who chose to use “who” rather than “which” in reference to the horse killed on Sunday. Changes in language are part of progress.)

You’ll find the full article, including a photo of the jump in question at
http://www.nytimes.com/2014/10/13/sports/steeplechases-most-historic-jump-is-also-its-most-controversial.html
OR http://tinyurl.com/qaoyf59

Both of the stories open the door for letters to the editor about our treatment of other species. The New York Times takes letters at
letters@nytimes.com and asks that you include your full name, address and phone number (though only your name will be published).

The horse racing article also has a place for comments on the website, which means that other Times readers get to read your thoughts without their having to be selected for publication by an editor. Please take a moment to comment.  We must make our voices heard on behalf of those who are voiceless in our society.

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