Thursday, June 18, 2009

New Jersey. A1669. Bowhunting on Sundays. Gov. Corzine Signs A1669 into Law.


This bulletin from the NJARA arrived last week, but I haven't had the time to cross-post it until today. If you have followed the course, you would know by now that Governor Corzine signed into law A1669, allowing bowhunting in Sundays. Do I feel betrayed? Yes, I do. Many pro-animal rights citizens including an equestrian organization have contacted his office about vetoing this bill. But in the end, the governor was unswayed. There truly is no other way to understand this but to accept that the governor believes another day of hunting and killing animals is fine. Well, I certainly will remember Jon Corzine on election day. The fight isn't over because for animal rights advocates the fight is never over. There have been comments made at this site by pro-hunting people on the signing of this bill, but I have not published them because of their celebratory nature. Joyous comments on the killing of animals have no place here. Below is NJARA's bulletin:

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SafeBackYards.com

When Governor Corzine signed the Sunday bowhunting bill, A1669/S802, into law on May 4, we all felt betrayed by the legislative process. We knew from polling the Senate and Assembly that there was strong opposition to the bill. However, we also learned that A1669/S802 was part of a power struggle launched by South Jersey legislators beholden to the National Rifle Association, the U.S. Sportsmen's Alliance and several low level, but high-bluster, pseudo-conservation, anti-environment, and anti-animal organizations in New Jersey. So, a bill that languished in the state legislature for more than 10 years was signed into law. Environmental lobbyists called the Sunday Hunting legislation "a dirty bill." What's next? No more "dirty bills."

First, we intend to preserve the threatened 450 foot bow safety zone. S976/A595, which may be posted for a Senate floor vote at any time, breaches the current 450 zone and reduces buffers to a mere 151 feet - without the homeowner's permission. Often deer take refuge close to houses and in fact many people feed deer during hunting season specifically to keep them safe. By allowing hunters to move in 299 feet closer to homes, more deer will undoubtedly be killed. In fact, this is the reason the hunters and Fish and Wildlife are giving legislators for passing this bill. They’re repeating their widely believed fabrication that killing more deer will reduce the population.

As our members and supporters know, we are persistent. We've launched several proactive initiatives to continue in our fight to protect wildlife, the public interest, and the integrity of our legislative process. To that end, we've met with strategists, attorneys and legislators. Make no mistake: this will be an uphill battle, but action is crucial and still needed - by each and every one of you.

Campaign to Keep Safety Buffers
NJARA has created a high-profile billboard campaign and a website ( www.safebackyards.com) to bring S976/A595, into the open, before the public. (See the billboard at www.safebackyards.com/Behind.htm.) You can do your part by helping us promote www.safebackyards.com. Forward the link to everyone you know. Discuss it with your neighbors. If you know other organizations that would like to join the SafeBackYards coalition, please have them write to: info@safebackyards.com.

Members in key districts will receive postcards in the mail with further instructions. We have a comprehensive plan that involves a lot of work, but we know we can count on our members to do what is needed. In the meantime, please visit www.SafeBackYards.com/WhatCanIDo.htm to find out more about what you can do right now. If you would like to help fund more billboards, send a donation with SafeBackYards billboard in the memo.

Our sincere thanks to everyone who met with their local Senators, called your legislators and wrote to Governor Corzine.

Finally, there are a lot of exciting things happening that will change the course of animal protection in New Jersey. Please stay tuned.

Angi Metler,
Executive Director

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