The Columbia Canine Sports Center, a training facility for dogs, is scheduled to host several "Barn Hunt" events this year. Barn hunting is a new "sport," apparently developed to give dogs the chance to "hunt" rats. During Barn Hunt events, live rats are forced inside small tubes, which are then hidden amongst bales of straw. Dogs are encouraged to seek out the tubes by scent.
Rats are highly sentient and intelligent animals who excel at learning and understanding concepts. They are extremely loyal and social, become attached to each other, and love their own families. While Barn Hunt proprietors claim that these animals are not physically harmed during these events, rats are extremely sensitive to noise, vibrations, sudden movements, and the sound and smell of dogs whom rats naturally view as predators. Imagine being confined to a small space without any means of escape, subjected to frightening noises and sensations, and placed in close quarters with giant predators. No doubt that this is a terrifying experience for the rats!
Please contact the Columbia Canine Sports Center and urge them to cancel Barn Hunt events. Remind management that there are plenty of activities that do not cause extreme stress to other animals.
Please send polite comments to:
Virginia Huxley, Owner Columbia Canine Sports Centerhuxleyv@missouri.edu
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