In Virginia there is a law that has been battled over for many years: No animal may be hunted for on Sunday with the exception of raccoons, which may be hunted until 2:00 AM.
Under section 29.1-521 of the Virginia Code, it is illegal to hunt or kill any animal, even a “nuisance” animal and even on private land, on Sundays, “a rest day for all species of wild bird and wild animal life, except raccoons, which may be hunted until 2:00 a.m. on Sunday mornings.” Poor raccoons!
“Sunday hunting issue has been around for decades,” Virginia House Delegate Mark Keam says. “Every year it comes up, at least in recent memory. The subcommittee doesn't even bother to look at it.”
For instance, in 2011, the board of the Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, for the first time in its history, endorsed Sunday hunting in Virginia. But as Delegate Keam said, it never made it past the sub-committee.
The Humane Society opposes lifting the ban on animal cruelty grounds. Hikers oppose lifting the ban because they'd like to hike on Sundays without worrying about being shot at. Some farmers, historically along with the Farm Bureau, want to keep the ban because a lot of hunting takes place on private land and they want one day a week to keep the land free of bullets. The Virginia Hunting Dog Alliance released a position paper in opposition to Sunday hunting for religious reasons: “The first and foremost reason is our faith. The Fourth Commandment is reason enough to oppose hunting on Sunday. Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the LORD your God. We also recognize that the Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath.” The paper goes on to state seven reasons why hunting should not be allowed on Sunday.
So for now, it sounds like the wildlife of Virginia is safe and sound to wander around on Sundays!
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