Anti-Hunting Terrorism – Is Our Government Doing Enough?

The death of Melania Capitan has sparked an uproar from hunting groups demanding a change to trolling laws.

I’m sure that many of you have already heard the story of Melania Capitan. Melania is a 27 year old Spanish woman who took her own life as an alleged result (contents of her suicide note have not been released) of anti-hunting terrorism. Melania built a huge, online following around her hunting activities and as such, also attracted the attention of anti-hunters. She had reportedly received over 3000 threats and defamatory comments. And it didn’t stop online either. She had also reportedly received threats in other forms like notes left on her vehicle.

Following Capitan’s death, the president of the Spanish Federation of Hunting filed a criminal complaint with the country’s public prosecution office citing animal terrorism and their attacks for contributing to Capitan’s death. The complaint said the criticisms against Capitan targeted her personal liberties and because hunting is a right in Spain, anyone who criticized her was violating her rights.

While this story doesn’t come from Canada, it still resonates with us here because we are all too familiar with these types of threats. I myself have been the target of several comments, some of which have contained threats of personal harm and others with prompts to kill myself. So our question is, what can we do to put a stop to this type of bullying? And is bullying a strong enough word for this type of act? There are other terms being coined to describe it such as anti-hunting terrorism and animal terrorism.

The RCMP defines terrorism as:
Anything that impacts the fabric of Canadian society could be considered a threat to national security. The RCMP will focus its efforts on: espionage or sabotage against Canada; foreign influenced activities detrimental to the interests of Canada; activities directed toward or in support of the threat or use of acts of serious violence against Canadians for political, religious or ideological objectives; and, activities leading to the destruction or overthrow by violence of the government of Canada.

Dictionary.com defines terrorism as:
The use of violence and threats to intimidate or coerce, especially for political purposes.

While we are not sure the Government will classify these threats as terrorism, surely there is something in the Criminal Code against this type of act.

According to the Criminal Code: Assault
Every one commits an offence who, in any manner, knowingly utters, conveys or causes any person to receive a threat
(a) to cause death or bodily harm to any person;
(b) to burn, destroy or damage real or personal property; or
(c) to kill, poison or injure an animal or bird that is the property of any person.

Every one who commits an offence under paragraph (1)(a) is guilty of
(a) an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding five years; or
(b) an offence punishable on summary conviction and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding eighteen months.

Every one who commits an offence under paragraph (1)(b) or (c)
(a) is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years; or
(b) is guilty of an offence punishable on summary conviction.

Melania Capitan suicide.

We found this recent post on Twitter demonstrating just how horrible and degrading the anti-hunting crowd can be. Even after her death they shamelessly and disgustingly defame her.

Does this feel like enough? Is this direct enough to our particular problem? Are we satisfied with this as our protection? We are still conducting research and are hoping to find something else pertinent to our situation, but assault certainly doesn’t seem to cut it when people are driven to take their own lives.

Not to mention, there are many problems facing the type of threats we, as hunters, often receive. Online threats are difficult to pursue on the grounds that it is difficult to identify and prove the author of the threats. While reporting a recent threat, the officer I was dealing with had advised me that the person could claim someone else used his email address to send the threat. While this is understandable, there has to be something that can be done about this.

Anti-hunting terrorism has to stop. The Wild Guide team will be devoting some serious amounts of energy and research into this issue. We already have letters out to the RCMP and our local MP as a starting point and we hope to chase this problem all the way to the top. It’s time for a change in our trolling laws to stop this kind of thing from happening.

We urge you to do the same. Our rights are being threatened and we need to start speaking louder than our haters and make sure our government hears us. We would love to hear from you with your thoughts and ideas on the matter and hope you will continue to follow us as we march forward with our fight. If you think it’s time to do something about this, and stop anti-hunting terrorism, share this post and please leave us a comment. You can also follow and connect with us on Facebook,  Twitter and Instagram.

Brad McCann
Publisher and CEO
Wild Guide Magazine

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