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Group Asks Howell to Deep-Six His Proposal for Free Fishing Licenses in Favor of Peaceful Park Permits
For Immediate Release:February 10, 2010
Contact:Teresa Lynn Chagrin 757-622-7382
Richmond, Va. -- Today, PETA dispatched a letter to William Howell, speaker of the Virginia House of Delegates, urging him to sink a proposal that grants free fishing licenses to members of the armed services. In the letter, PETA points out that while it is convenient to ignore the fact that fish feel pain, innumerable studies have shown that fish suffer when they are impaled on a hook and dragged into an environment in which they cannot breathe. PETA proposes an alternative benefit for troops--one that has no violent consequences: free access to Virginia's state parks, where men and women of the military can hike, camp, canoe, or rest without harming any living being.
"The men and women of our armed forces have experienced far too many casualties and seen far too many lives lost already," says PETA's Teresa Chagrin, a disabled veteran of the U.S. Army. "We are asking the speaker to help service members get away from the blood and guts--and instead to give them and fish a break by providing soldiers with a peaceful getaway to Virginia's magnificent parks."
For more information, please visit PETA.org.
PETA's letter to William Howell, speaker of the Virginia House of Delegates, follows.
February 10, 2010
The Honorable William J. Howell Speaker of the House
Dear Mr. Howell:
I am writing on behalf of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) and our more than 2 million members and supporters--including thousands across Virginia--to ask you to use your influence to amend House Bill 128, which would award free fishing licenses to members of the armed services. Instead of giving away fishing licenses, we would like you to provide a true respite from combat and bloodshed by giving them free passes to Virginia's parks.
Our men and women in service have witnessed enough bloodshed for a lifetime, and we would like to encourage them to avoid witnessing or causing any more, even to a small animal whose pain few people think carefully about. You may not realize that biologists have definitively concluded that fish suffer when they are impaled and dragged into an environment in which they cannot breathe. When anglers remove a hook from a fish, they often tear the animal's throat, mouth, and face in the process. Fish caught in catch-and-release tournaments frequently die from their injuries. According to Dr. Michael Fox, D.V.M, Ph.D., "Even though fish don't scream when they are in pain and anguish, their behavior should be evidence enough of their suffering when they are hooked or netted. They struggle, endeavoring to escape and, by so doing, demonstrate they have a will to survive." In addition to causing fish to suffer, fishing wreaks havoc on ecosystems, as birds and aquatic animals are often strangled in discarded fishing line (fishing line is the most common cause of wild bird injuries and deaths).
Please honor our military personnel by granting them free access to our state parks for truly peaceful and restful activities such as hiking, camping, canoeing, walking, and bird-watching. The last thing that they need now is to watch a helpless, dying animal gasp for air on the bottom of a boat.
Thank you for your consideration.
Teresa Lynn ChagrinSPC, USA (Retired)Animal Care & Control Specialist
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