The South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks Commission voted down a petition from the South Dakota Houndsmen Association to expand hounding of mountain lions in the Prairie region at their meeting in Brookings. The Humane Society of the United States opposed the petition which would allow trophy hunters to chase mountain lions with dogs onto expanded public land areas on the prairie. The HSUS State of the Mountain Lion Report highlights major threats to the species, including rampant trophy hunting which kills thousands of mountain lions each year in the United States.
Darci Adams, South Dakota State Director for The HSUS, issued the following statement in response to the Commission vote:
“We are very pleased to see the Commission vote in favor of protecting South Dakota’s rare and iconic mountain lions. Only a handful of these cats exist in South Dakota and very few ever make it out of the Black Hills and onto the Prairie. Allowing hound hunting on public lands in the Prairie would harm the species’ ability to survive in our state. Moreover, hounding is an unethical hunting practice that causes harm to the mountain lions being chased as well as the hounds themselves and unintended wildlife such as mountain lion kittens who may be attacked and killed by hounds. The Commission’s decision is a step in the right direction to ensure mountain lions are not harmed by cruel and unnecessary hunting practices.”