Fox Television Joins Movement to Ban Trapping
(Columbus) - Fox Sports Net, which provides regional sports programming to 85 million households, has refused to cancel a gratis anti-trapping advertisement produced by the nation’s largest animal rights group.
News Corporation, the parent company of Fox Sports Net and other Fox Cable Networks, approved a 15-second anti-trapping commercial, produced by the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), as a public service announcement. Fox Sports rejected a request by the U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance, the nation’s leading sportsmen’s advocacy organization, to immediately pull the spot. The company will run the ad through the end of December at no cost to the anti's.
The advertisement features HSUS leader Wayne Pacelle and a second animal activist urging viewers to support trapping bans. To add to the sensationalism, the spot opens with a loud clank as a foot hold trap with teeth - a trap that has been banned throughout the country for decades - snaps shut.
A senior official for Fox told the U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance that he and other associates had reviewed the ad and believe the content meets their criteria for public service announcements.
“This is not a public service announcement; it is a free political advertisement for a movement that wants to eliminate trapping, hunting and all other forms of animal use,” said U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance President Bud Pidgeon. “Hunters and anglers must understand that the Humane Society has repeatedly stated that a ban on trapping is merely a means of softening public sentiment to clear the way for a ban on all hunting and fishing. Hunters, trappers and anglers should generate a flood of complaints from friends, family and everyone they can reach out to.”
Trapping is recognized by every wildlife agency at the state and federal level as a viable and important conservation tool. It helps keep furbearer populations at healthy levels and is important in stemming the spread of wildlife diseases that threaten animals and humans.
The Humane Society of the United States opposes all animal use, including trapping, hunting and fishing. It has a multi-million dollar budget that it invests in legislative and ballot campaigns to ban trapping and hunting. It also has a legal arm to challenge sportsmen’s rights in court.
Sportsmen can make a difference in this fight. In 2002, Jeep raised the ire of sportsmen when it aired a blatantly, anti-hunting commercial called the “Deer Hunter.” After a flood of sportsmen contacts, Jeep pulled the commercial in three days.
Sportsmen nationwide should contact News Corporation and demand that the spot be cancelled. Let the company know that outdoorsmen object to the network acting as a mouthpiece for the animal rights movement. Explain that state wildlife professionals support trapping and see it as a necessary tool for managing furbearers. Inform News Corporation that trapping has proven to be a critical element in the comeback of waterfowl populations, and that managers see it as extremely important in protecting the public from outbreaks of diseases such as rabies.
Contact Rupert Murdoch, Chairman/CEO, News Corporation, 1211 Avenue of the Americas, 8th Floor, New York, NY, 10036. Phone (212) 852-7000. Fax (212) 852-7147.
Sample letters to News Corporation are available using the Legislative Action Center at www.ussportsmen.org.
The U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance protects the rights of hunters, anglers and trappers in the courts, legislatures, at the ballot, in Congress and through public education programs. For more information about the U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance and its work, call (614) 888-4868 or visit its website, www.ussportsmen.org.