Fairfax, VA – Last month, President George W. Bush signed the 2007 Defense Authorization Act, which included an NRA-supported provision saving hundreds of elk and mule deer on Santa Rosa Island from the court-ordered extermination that was to begin in 2008 and be completed by 2011.
However, yesterday, Sens. Barbara Boxer and Dianne Feinstein attached an amendment to the Military Construction Appropriations bill that will overturn current law and exterminate hundreds of healthy elk and mule deer on Santa Rosa Island, off the coast of California. This issue is not about public access or whether these animals should be hunted and by whom. Current law protects the Santa Rosa elk and deer from extermination and this amendment will require that the animals be exterminated by 2011.
NRA-ILA Chief Lobbyist Chris W. Cox stated, “In a blatant attempt to slaughter these animals – for absolutely no good purpose – Senators Boxer and Feinstein claim to, ‘correct a terrible mistake’. The only irreversible mistake in this situation is if these elitist politicians are allowed to kill healthy and robust animals for political purposes.”
Santa Rosa Roosevelt elk and Kaibab mule deer are unique and invaluable, as they are free from Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) and other ailments that threaten the species on the mainland. Forty miles of Pacific Ocean offer them a sanctuary from disease. The healthy and thriving herds can be used as breeding stock to repopulate in case of disaster on the mainland.
Cox concluded, “This is not about hunting – this is about political pandering and payback. The NRA is calling on Congress to not allow Sens. Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer to kill hundreds of healthy elk and mule deer – for no good reason.”
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Established in 1871, the National Rifle Association is America’s oldest civil rights and sportsmen's group. Four million members strong, NRA continues its mission to uphold Second Amendment rights and to advocate enforcement of existing laws against violent offenders to reduce crime. The Association remains the nation's leader in firearm education and training for law-abiding gun owners, law enforcement and the armed services.