PETA takes its anti-fishing show to Minnesota


Mar 11, 2001
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PETA campaign targets Minnesota fishing.

By JEFF DANKERT, LaCrosse Tribune  


Talk about grumpy old men.

Wait until this reaches the bait shops and ice shanties: People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals wants to ban fishing in state parks across Minnesota.

Impaling him on a hook and ripping him out of his environment is cruelty to animals, plain and simple," said Dan Shannon, who is leading PETA's "Fishing Hurts" campaign.

That prompted Garry Barvels, manager of Whitewater State Park, to ask Monday: "Why (PETA) would do it?"

The park, like many in southeastern Minnesota, offers fishing in the form of stream trout. A winter fishing season is open for catch-and-release using only hooks without barbs.

"They're not really hurting the fish that way," Barvels said.

PETA launched its campaign by sending a letter to Bill Morrisey, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources director of parks and recreation.

"The violent process of fishing and its consequences do not complement the peace and tranquility of a state park," Shannon said in the letter.

Speaking last week from PETA's Norfolk, Va., headquarters, he said this is the animal rights group's first anti-fishing campaign. It also began lobbying in Louisiana, Kentucky, Missouri and Michigan.

"Fishing is just hunting in the water," he said, adding that Minnesota already bans hunting in state parks. "The scientific evidence clearly states that fish can feel pain."

Because fish don't make a noise or a facial expression upon being hooked, they receive less sympathy from the public than do mammals and birds, he said.

Rich Enochs, president of the Win-Cres Chapter of Trout Unlimited in Winona, Minn., said: "It's an interesting position, but I can't see the point.

"A total ban seems to be contrary to any sort of reasonable balance on outdoors philosophy," he said.

Shannon said PETA's campaign hopes to foster a public debate. "We don't expect people to agree with us overnight," he said.

Said Barvels: "I don't know how to even answer those people."

Jeff Dankert is a reporter with the Winona (Minn.) Daily News.


Well-known member
Oct 29, 2001
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Growing up in MN, I can tell you this will never fly.  I would also like to add that you can hunt the State Forests in MN so I'm not sure how this person got his information.....


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