ALL the News about
Mormons, Mormonism
and the LDS Church
Mormon News: All the News about Mormons, Mormonism and the LDS Church
Posted 22 Oct 2001   For week ended October 19, 2001
Most Recent Week
Front Page
Local News
Arts & Entertainment
·New Products
·New Websites
·Mormon Stock Index
Letters to Editor
Continuing Coverage of:
Boston Temple
School Prayer
Julie on MTV
Robert Elmer Kleasen
About Mormon News
News by E-Mail
Weekly Summary
Submitting News
Submitting Press Releases
Volunteer Positions
Bad Link?

News about Mormons, Mormonism,
and the LDS Church

Sent on Mormon-News: 19Oct01

By Kent Larsen

Stop Allowing Hunting on LDS Land, Requests National Animal Rights Group

SILVER SPRING, MARYLAND -- A New York City-based animal rights group has asked the LDS Church to stop allowing the hunting of animals on its land. The Fund for Animals, which seeks to stop cruelty to animals, including hunting, sent a letter to President Gordon B. Hinckley of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on October 11th asking that the sponsored hunts on the Deseret Ranch in Florida, the Deseret Land and Livestock preserve, and Westlake Farm in Utah be stopped. LDS Church spokesman Dale Bills would not immediately comment on the letter.

The fund's request comes after The Salt Lake Tribune ran a guest editorial from Mac Madsen arguing against the Church's policy of selling tickets to hunt elk or moose on the Church's Deseret Land and Livestock and Westlake Farm, located along the southwest shore of Utah lake. Madsen, whose editorial was part of a paper he presented at the annual Sunstone Symposium, apparently learned of the practice in a July 10, 2000 article in the Deseret News, which interviewed the LDS missionary couple that runs the operation and described it in detail.

According to Madsen and to The Fund for Animals, the Church leases land on its giant Florida ranch, Deseret Ranch, located near Orlando, Florida, to hunters. Deseret Land and Livestock sells hunting permits during the hunting season for as much as $11,000 per animal, and Westlake Farm sells tickets to hunt geese, ducks, pheasants and doves for as much as $1,500, and church workers bait the birds.

Madsen's editorial claims that hunting for sport is clearly at odds with LDS teachings. Citing LDS leaders and thinkers from Joseph Smith to Joseph Fielding Smith and Hugh Nibley, Madsen claims that "Mormon scriptures condemn the unnecessary killing of animal life and at the same time instruct members regarding their stewardship and accountability pertaining to God's animal creations."

Madsen isn't the first to criticize the Church's preserve. LDS Church member Jim Catano wrote an editorial for the online vegetarian website VegSource in December 2000. In that article, Catano also found the practices on the Church's property at odds with Church teaching. He also contacted the LDS Church's Public Affairs department, which declined to respond to the issue.

In spite of the Church's silence on the issue in the past, The Fund for Animals program coordinator, Norm Phelps, is hopeful, "I think we have a real possibility that we will get the desired response because the LDS are sincere. I really expect them to eliminate it." Others at the organization were more blunt. National Director Heidi Prescott said, "Operators of commercial hunting grounds sell animals to people who kill them for amusement. That is unethical, inhumane, and biologically unsound." And The Fund's Executive Vice President, Michael Markarian, added, "All we're asking the Church to do is follow its own teachings that forbid hunting except in cases of extreme hunger. And no one who can pay $11,000 to kill a single elk can claim to be fighting off starvation."

While not as widely known as the ASPCA and World Wildlife Fund, the Fund for Animals is an active and well-established group. Founded in 1967 by author and humanitarian Cleveland Amory, the organization seeks to speaking out against egregious forms of animal cruelty, following the motto, "We speak for those who can't." The organization claims to be a eading opponent of sport hunting, commercial trapping, and other egregious acts of cruelty to wild animals through education, legislation, litigation and hands-on care.


Animal rights group calls on Mormon church to stop hunts
Phoenix AZ Republic (AP) 17Oct01 N1
Associated Press

Church Is Sacrificing Principle for Profit
Salt Lake Tribune 30Sep01 ON1
By Mac Madsen

Fund for Animals Calls Upon LDS to "Walk the Talk" by Ending Commercial Hunting on Church Land
The Fund for Animals Press Release 17Oct01 N1

See also:

LDS Vegetarian Questions Church's Hunting Preserve

Missionary Couple Tends Isolated Farm

The Fund for Animals


[an error occurred while processing this directive]

Copyright 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001 Kent Larsen · Privacy Information