State-sanctioned cruelty

To the Editor:

The recent killing of an orphaned fawn by a game warden has generated some interesting responses by those in support of this state-sanctioned cruelty. "The policy should be that, if anyone takes a fawn from the wild, that person should be prosecuted for obstructing the right of survival for that animal." If the doe was found dead and someone chose to rescue and care for its fawn, who, other than the game warden who shot and killed the thriving animal, obstructed the right of its survival? "There is no data that shows fawns can be successfully raised in captivity to adulthood, then released to the wild with the expectation that they will survive." First of all, the rescuer had no intention of keeping it into adulthood, no intention of keeping it as a pet and the animal could not contract chronic wasting disease in captivity. Furthermore, fawns and other animals are rescued from fires, floods and accidents everywhere and successfully rehabilitated into the wild. Haven't those so-called "experts" read the hundreds, if not thousands, of books written about the care, feeding and returning of orphaned and wounded animals to the wild? In none of these books is it recommended to shoot the animal as a form of treatment.

"We need to make sure we maintain a healthy relationship with the birds, mammals, reptiles and other critters that live in our woods." How can there be any relationship with these creatures when we are all subject to prosecution for feeding birds? Are we supposed to mow our grass to a stubble, cut down our berry bushes and apple trees because bear and deer feed on them? Are we supposed to live in fear of a game warden skulking around our property looking for evidence of scat and animal tracks? The only relationship being promulgated here is the one between the hunters and the Fish and Wildlife department. And this so-called "respect for the natural world around us" consists of keeping the wildlife wild so it can be hunted. As it admits, the Fish and Wildlife Board, "regularly relies on the department's research and recommendations in their decisions, but they also listen closely to hunters." Hunting wildlife is hardly a fair fight. And the perverse practices of running bears up trees by GPS collared dogs in order to shoot them, multiple hunters forming scrimmage lines to shoot a trapped deer and shooting animals from the road are particularly offensive. There is so much to observe and learn from the natural world, but that knowledge is severely limited when seen through the lens of a predator.

Jessica Miller

Cabot, Vt.

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