Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Bob Barker to Rockville, MD: Proposed Hunt "Cruel, Pointless"

Former Price is Right host Bob Barker waded into Rockville politics this month with an appeal to the city's Mayor and Council. The letter, which was emailed to city officials on August 20th, reads (in part):
Dear Citizens of Rockville, Maryland:

COME ON DOWN and tell your mayor and city council that you can learn to share your great city with the deer! I know that you can do it! But you must do it in writing by September 9. And you must be at the meeting for the decision on Oct. 24. I am begging you to make time to go....

I have unfortunately recently discovered that my deer friends in your city may be killed....
You can read the full letter below.

In recent years, Barker has been involved in several other local animal rights issues, ranging from chimpanzees in Texas to elephants in Los Angeles. About.com had this profile of Bob Barker's animal rights work:
Animal Rights Activism - Early Years:

The former game show host is a long-time animal protection supporter. Barker first became interested in animal issues when his wife, Dorothy Jo, stopped wearing the fur coats he had bought her. In 1979, Barker became vegetarian as a result of his wife’s influence. After being the MC for the Miss America pageant for over 20 years, Barker stepped down when he asked the pageant producers to stop offering fur coats as prizes and they refused.

Recent Animal Rights Activism:

In later seasons of The Price is Right, Barker ended every show with “Help control the pet population. Have your pets spayed or neutered.” Barker has also established the DJ&T Foundation, named after Dorothy Jo and Barker’s mother Mathilda (Tilly), to financially support low cost spay/neuter clinics.
Barker's issue with Rockville centers around a proposed deer-hunting ordinance.  Earlier this month, the Gazette had this article covering the issue:
As the urban deer population grows, cities like Rockville are grappling with ways to cohabitate with the four-legged creature.

One suggestion by the city’s White-Tailed Deer Task Force — a managed hunt — is generating alarm by some residents and elected officials....

The 16-person task force, including residents and representatives from the Maryland Department of Natural Resources and the Humane Society of the United States, recommended the City Council change a city ordinance to allow for a managed hunt if the deer population is large enough, Mader said.
The prospect of a deer hunt in Rockville has drawn the ire of activist Carol McCormick. As the Gazette further noted:
For Carol McCormick, hunting is not the best way to deal with the population.

“Because we caused this urban sprawl, we have to deal with the consequences and learn how to deal in the 21st century with deer management by also respecting the lives of the deer,” McCormick said.
Ms. McCormick contacted Maryland Juice with this story and noted she has over 1,000 residents signed on to a petition against the deer hunt. She hopes to make the deer hunting proposal an issue in the upcoming Rockville elections.

We previously discussed the elections in our Kumar Dominoes post, but to reiterate -- upcoming nonpartisan municipal elections are scheduled for Tuesday, November 8, 2011. Polls are open from 7 a.m. to 8 pm (voting information here).

Read Full Bob Barker Rockville Letter

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