S C is the only state in the US where “Bear Baying” is not illegal. However, the SC Law is somewhat muddy, meaning that SC has a ban on animal fighting, but with an exception for dog training. Because of recent undercover videos released on four “Bear Baying” events held in SC, the Humane Society of the US is pressuring lawmakers to explicitly outlaw the practice. What is the supposed purpose of “Bear Baying” and exactly what does it involve? After reading this article, I think most individuals will agree that this is a cruel centuries-old blood sport that must be stopped!
What is the purpose of Bear Baying?
Hunters claim bear baying is used to “train” dogs on how to hold the bears “at bay” when encountered during a hunt until the hunter can get to it and kill it. In fact, it’s more a competition for awards and prizes and a spectator sport for “sick” people who like to see animals tortured, very akin to cock fighting, which SC also has a reputation for tolerating. Dog owners are coming from other states such as Tennessee, Georgia, Ohio, and West Virginia SC to participate in this barbaric sport. It is time for this inhumane treatment of defenseless animals to stop!
What is involved in Bear Baying?
Monday, Aug. 23, a press conference was held in Spartanburg, SC by the Humane Society to release video filmed undercover of four bear baying events held this year in the communities of Pauline, Traveler’s Rest, and Hickory Grove. Sandy Christensen, President of the Spartanburg SC Human Society stated “It’s really sort of sad that South Carolina would be looked at as a haven for people to perpetrate acts of animal cruelty.”
Bear baying involves declawing and defanging a captive bear before chaining it to a stake. Then hunting dogs are loosed on it and they bark and snap at the bear trying to get it to stand on its hind legs so it can be shot more easily by hunters. This goes on for hours and the bear usually winds up bloody and heavily salivating. To view the video on bear baying, click here. Prosecutors are currently reviewing the videos.
Columbia Democrat state Sen. Joel Lourie is taking steps to outlaw this cruel practice and has said he will work with The Humane Society and the Dept. of Natural Resources before he files the bill in December. The outlawing of animal cruelty on all levels can’t come soon enough for most South Carolinians.
Article by: Trevor Anderson: Aug. 24, 2010: South Carolina urged to outlaw ‘bear baying’ | GoUpstate.com
Humane Society fighting to ban bear baying in South Carolina | TheDigitel Charleston
Article by: Meg Kinnard: Aug. 24, 2010: SC Lawmaker to file bill banning bear baying contests. http://www.thesunnews.com/2010/08/24/1653125/sc-lawmaker-to-file-bill-banning.html