To the Editor:
As a Maine land owner and long time resident, I’ve asked Maine Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap to change the wording of the ballot question for the “fair bear hunting referendum.” Any wording that makes it sound as though the law would ban bear hunting is misleading and does not accurately represent what the people have asked for with their signatures.
The current proposed ballot question language is confusing. I’ve already seen countless articles referring to the referendum as one to “ban bear hunting,” rather than just trying to ban three unimaginably cruel practices – bear hounding, baiting, and trapping.
As someone who helped found the animal rescue Underhound Railroad Inc., I recognize these practices are deplorable – they’re dangerous to bears and to the dogs that are made to chase them. Underhound Railroad and I hope to see an end to this treatment of animals in our state come November. We need a fair question to ensure this change happens.
I hope you, too, will ask Secretary Dunlap to please use the following language – “Do you want to prohibit the use of dogs, bait, or traps when hunting bears, except under certain circumstances?” This language is what the 80,000 people (including myself) who signed petitions asked for.
The comment period ends Monday June 16; emails to email@example.com and mail to Secretary of State, Attn: Public Comment, 148 State House Station, Augusta, 04333 are due by 5 p.m.