Petersen: Aside from its role in the spread of diseases, what are your views on the game farming industry?
Geist: Game farming is utterly incompatible with the maintenance of free-roaming wildlife on this continent, standing in direct opposition to all four basic tenets of the North American Model of Wildlife Conservation and democratic hunting: (1) Wildlife "ownership" must be held exclusively in the public domain. The corollary is that wildlife must never become private property. (2) In order to save North American wildlife from extinction, we long ago outlawed market hunting and commercial trafficking in dead wildlife. But game farming depends utterly on developing a huge and growing legal market in dead wildlife, throwing the doors open to illegal marketing of wild animals as well. (3) The allocation of the public wildlife resource among private citizens must be regulated by due process of law. It's the American way. It's a way that works for all. And what does game farming give us? Wildlife allocation by financial privilege. Canned hunts make a mockery of ethical democratic hunting. (4) Fair chase! Neither the U.S. nor Canada allows the frivolous killing of wildlife. But what restraints against frivolous killing exist in the private sector? None. A canned shooter may buy as many animals as he or she wants and kill them for whatever reason, in whatever fashion, no matter how frivolous, immoral and disgusting.
You said it, Dr. Geist. Let's keep the hunt in hunting!