Elk NetworkRadical Anti-Hunting, Farming Effort Again Comes Up Short in Oregon, Targets 2026

General | July 9, 2024

What the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation reported last November became official on July 5, 2024, when a radical animal rights movement to criminalize hunting, farming, fishing and trapping in Oregon failed to turn in citizen signatures to do so. It is the second time the effort came up short after a similar failure in 2022.

Placed under a perceived banner of “animal cruelty”, Initiative Petition 3 would have made it a crime for people to injure or intentionally kill animals, including utilizing breeding practices and raising/killing livestock for food, including fishing and hunting.  

If passed, the initiative would severely hamstring the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) in carrying out its mission to protect and enhance the state’s fish and wildlife and their habitats. Approximately 40 percent of ODFW’s budget is generated from hunting and fishing licenses as well as fees which are used to manage all wildlife species, not just those that are hunted. Fish populations would also be drastically impacted since the $203 million ODFW spends on fisheries and fish hatcheries would be cut off.

Proponents also ignore the importance of conservation funding generated by hunters. Federal excise taxes on guns, ammunition, archery equipment via the Pittman-Robertson Act generated more than $16 billion since its inception in 1937. A 2023 report also shines a spotlight on crucial conservation and economic funding generated by the firearm and ammunition industry. Combined with Dingell-Johnson Act excise taxes on fishing gear, that funding is returned to states, including Oregon, for various conservation, recreation and public access projects.

Having said all that, proponents are not giving up. They now have their sights set on the November 2026 general election when they hope to have gathered enough signatures to qualify the since renamed Initiative Petition 28.

(Photo credit: Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation)