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MONDAY, JUNE 13, 2005
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EDITORIAL

Computer-assisted hunting deserves to be shot down

The polite name for a service offered out of Texas is computer-assisted hunting. Heidi Prescott, president of the Humane Society of the United States, calls it "pay-per-view slaughter."

Many others share her concern, including the National Rifle Association and a growing number of state legislatures. Six states have already banned it; at least 20 others are considering bans. Texas Gov. Rick Perry is expected to sign a bill outlawing all aspects of Internet hunting in his state — which could put a stop to its present provider, Live-Shot.com.

Live-Shot has more than 200 acres of hunting land north of San Antonio, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Hunters can stalk animals over the Internet.

According to other published reports, Live-Shot's rifle is attached to a small motor, three video cameras and an actuator. The actuator connects to a wire that pulls the trigger when the "hunter" clicks a mouse. If the animal is wounded but not dead, a marksman on the scene will kill it.

There's no necessity here; Internet hunters are not killing animals to feed their families. Nor is there any sporting interplay with nature, in which a hunter tries to outsmart an animal in its natural habitat.

Internet hunting is cold-blooded cruelty, and it ought to be banned. If people want to "hunt" on a computer, let them play video games.

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