Posted tagged ‘stun gun hunting?’

Stun Gun Hunting?

April 14, 2011

– – As technology continues to advance, it can lead us into ethical considerations previously unconsidered and perhaps unexplored that were in the past gray areas at best.  One such area is that posed by the possibility of the stun gun hunting of animals...

The value of Tasers and other electronic stun devices has been well established in police work and security applications as a non-lethal way of subduing and controlling non-compliant suspects.  Likewise, one can readily see the potential value of a Taser Wildlife Electronic Control Device such as has also been developed as a non-lethal way of immobilizing wildlife that has perhaps blundered into a human habitation area where its presence poses potential danger both to the animal itself as well as to humans present.  This non-lethal weapon can temporarily incapacitate moose, bears, and other large animals, and could be helpful to park rangers and wildlife officials; it’s a heavy-duty device which packs quite a wallop and costs about $2,000.

A disturbing question that has arisen is whether such a weapon might be used deliberately by private individuals seeking to practice “catch-and-release” hunting.  While it is unclear whether stun guns have already been used for this purpose, the potential for such abuse is real.  While stunning an animal without need is preferable to shooting it, such an action could easily be considered cruelty.  Human test subjects who have experienced stun guns almost universally describe the experience as painful and unpleasant, and the United Nations considers stun guns instruments of torture as they inflict pain.

The state of Alaska is accordingly moving to proactively outlaw the use of stun guns to zap wild animals for “catch and release” hunting in the state.  The weapon may still be used defensively, in emergency situations, or for purposes of further research by trained professionals.  State biologists have been using electronic animal control devices in Alaska since 2005.  Additionally,  while wild animals usually flee when hit with the current, there is no guarantee that they will do so…and one does not want to severely aggravate a grizzly!

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