Monday, April 28, 2008

Gray Wolves Taken Off the Endangered Species List: Now Being Hunted Freely For First Time Since 3 Decades Ago: Let’s Break Down The Flimsy Argument

What really stands out in this article is the absolutely flimsy and ridiculous arguments / rationalization used by those who have decided to go about killing wolves.

Here’s one found in the article below: “For Saunders, killing that wolf was a long-awaited chance to even things out because he has lost two horses to wolves…”

Maybe I need to break this down to show how flimsy and illegitimate this “argument” is. I’ll keep it simple – how would killing another wolf allow you to “get even” with the fact that another wolf supposedly killed two horses? Essentially, you’ve killed to say that killing was wrong. And not only that - the wolves killed for food or to survive. You're simply killing for fun or for some flimsy excuse of getting even with a natural predator.

It’s positions like this that show that taking species like the wolf off the endangered list will only simply put them right back to where they were in numbers. Shows that this really was a move only to appease ranching and hunting interests.

Here’s some facts from the article below:

“Since federal protection was lifted March 28 and states took over wolf management, 37 wolves have been killed, just over 2 percent of their population. Since 66 animals were transplanted to the region 13 years ago, an estimated 1,500 now roam Wyoming, Montana and Idaho.”

Article:

Off endangered list, wolves face new pressure from hunters By MATTHEW BROWN, Associated Press Writer
Sun Apr 27, 3:21 PM ET

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080427/
ap_on_re_us/hunting_wolves

BILLINGS, Mont. - Tony Saunders stalked his prey for 35 miles by snowmobile through western Wyoming's Hoback Basin, finally reaching a clearing where he took out a .270-caliber rifle and shot the wolf twice from 30 yards away.

Gray wolves in the Northern Rockies have been taken off the endangered species list and are being hunted freely for the first time since they were placed on that list three decades ago, and nowhere is that hunting easier than Wyoming.

Most of the state with the exception of the Yellowstone National Park area has been designated a "predator zone," where wolves can be shot at will.

For Saunders, killing that wolf was a long-awaited chance to even things out because he has lost two horses to wolves and blames the canines for depleting local big game herds.

"It's hard for people to understand how devastating they can be," said Saunders, 39, who ranches at Bondurant, Wyo., 30 miles southeast of Jackson, Wyo.

Since federal protection was lifted March 28 and states took over wolf management, 37 wolves have been killed, just over 2 percent of their population. Since 66 animals were transplanted to the region 13 years ago, an estimated 1,500 now roam Wyoming, Montana and Idaho.

Environmental and animal rights groups plan to file a lawsuit Monday seeking an emergency injunction to block the killings and trying to put wolves back on the endangered list.

They predict that if states continue to control the animals' fate and proceed with public hunts, wolves could be driven back nearly to extermination in the region.

"There will be opportunistic shooting 365 days a year. This will become a continual black hole for wolves," said Franz Camenzind with the Jackson Hole Conservation Alliance, which is joining the lawsuit.

Despite the removal of wolves from the endangered list, killing them in the Northern Rockies is nothing new. Last year, a record 186 were shot, primarily by wildlife agents, for killing and harassing livestock.

But since the beginning of this year, 59 wolves already have been reported killed in the three Northern Rockies states, about three times the 19 killed over the same period last year — most of them just in the month since they lost federal protection.

State officials blamed this year's increased hunting in part on heavy snow, which kept wolf packs at lower elevations where sheep and cattle range.

"That's the reality of managing wolves in a modern landscape. Some of them are going to be removed," said Eric Keszler, spokesman for the Wyoming Game and Fish Department.

In fact, entire packs have been legally killed off in past years because of livestock conflicts, according to biologist Mike Jimenez with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

With public hunts planned this year, federal biologists project the three states will maintain a population of 883 to 1,240 wolves at least for the next few years — well above the government's goal of maintaining a population of at least 300 wolves.

But wolf advocates say the states could systematically cull the population right down to that minimum unless a court intervenes.

Idaho and Wyoming in particular have a "hostile legal regime" that is stacked against wolves, said Doug Honnold, the Earthjustice attorney preparing the lawsuit.

"If anybody can kill wolves, you have no way of ensuring wolf killing isn't excessive," he said.

Honnold and other advocates say a minimum of 2,000 to 3,000 wolves is needed to protect their genetic diversity. They contend the government was on track to meet that goal when it caved in to political pressure and stripped the species of endangered status.

Some state officials and ranchers, including Saunders, acknowledge a lingering hostility for wolves, which had been exterminated in the region in the 1930s.

"There's times I'd like to get rid of all of them, but that's not realistic either," Saunders said. "And I'd like for my son one day to be able to hunt them, too."

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Why is Annual Canadian Baby Seal Slaughter Protected?

A good, brief writing on the economics behind the annual Canadian baby seal slaughter.

By the way...I've held off on posting for about a week in order to maintain focus on this annual slaughter. See the prior posting to learn more about this horrible event.

To follow a group and their campaign and to support them in ending this ridiculously cruel and unnecessary annual slaughter fest, visit their site at: http://www.seashepherd.org/seals2008/

Article:

Re:Seal hunt protest ship seized off East Coast

http://www.thestar.com/comment/article/414434

April 13

It is ironic that Fisheries Minister Loyola Hearn characterizes protesters against the seal hunt as "money-sucking." Given the economic realities of the hunt, it's clear that the only thing keeping this slaughter going are the subsidies that sealers receive from taxpayers.

These include the cost of search-and-rescue operations for sealers who get into trouble, the cost of "policing" the killing to ensure that humane groups can't film what's being done, the legal costs to fight the European Union's attempts to ban imports of seal-related products from Canada, and the money spent on trying to "spin" this issue so that Canadians will believe there's nothing inhumane about clubbing and skinning thousands of seals to death.

The costs to Newfoundland and Labrador and other parts of the Maritimes are likely even higher when you factor in the folks, like myself, who have vowed never to visit this part of Canada until the seal "hunt" is abolished.

And what economic benefit does Canada get in return? About $16 million last year – a fraction of the cost of the subsidies disbursed by the government in order to stain Canada's international reputation.

Paul Warren, Toronto

Loyola Sullivan, Canada's ambassador for fisheries conservation, was concerned with the "disturbing, false and misleading images that distort the image of Canada as a humane nation," claiming that footage used in the European anti-fur campaign was "dated."

Yet when a group of people sit in international waters attempting to get up-to-date footage, their boat is seized in an attempt to stop these newer images from being released.

What is Fisheries Minister Loyola Hearn trying to hide by doing this?

Shane Dalgleish, New Norfolk, Australia

Now we know that the real role of the RCMP is to serve and protect commerce. Boarding a ship in international waters is usually called piracy. We can only hope that the Dutch government treats this case with the seriousness it deserves.

The barbaric seal hunt was bad enough. For Canada to flout international law to prevent people from seeing what is actually going on is disgraceful.

Gary Dale, Toronto

Why is this horrific annual event called a "hunt"? What chances do these helpless, hapless sitting ducks have against a gun and/or a Caligula-like device called a hakapik? The very word sends chills down my spine. This is so outdated and so very primitive.

What kind of people do this killing? They call themselves Canadians? I'm ashamed of Canada.

I've cancelled my trip this summer to Newfoundland and Labrador. The TV ads inviting people to "come and see" turn my stomach.

Darina Oravec, Courtice, Ont.

What's up with the word "militant"? Why does the Toronto Star apply it to an animal rights group documenting the seal hunt, but not to the fishermen who illegally cut their lines or the Canadian Coast Guard, which illegally boarded the Sea Shepherd vessel?

This is a word that has normally been associated with Islamic fundamentalist suicide bombers over the past few years.

It's interesting that your newspaper uses the same word to describe animal rights activists who are legally filming the slaughter of baby seals.

Bonnie Sullivan, Toronto

Monday, April 07, 2008

Annual Canadian Baby Seal Slaughter Begins: 325,000 Seals Targeted this Year

Well, here we go again.

What really can I report other than gruesome details of baby seals being shot OR bludgeoned - grown men putting clubs or hakapik or picks through the heads of baby seals who cannot move. The result being baby seals wounded and thrashing about in agony on the surface of the ocean.

As stated at the website of the group Sea Shepherd at http://www.seashepherd.org/seals2008/, “Canadian Fisheries Minister Loyola Hearn has set this year’s quota at 275,000 harp seals to be killed, 5,000 higher than last year, without any scientific justification and without any market justification…. In total over 325,000 seals are being targeted this year.”

The group that is tireless in fighting this unfortunate spectacle of human cruelty is Sea Shepherd.

To follow their campaign and to support them in ending this ridiculously cruel and unnecessary annual slaughter fest, visit their site at: http://www.seashepherd.org/seals2008/

Colorado Animal Rights Laws 2008 So Far: 3 Important Bills Recently Signed into Law

Some good news. Though again not all that stringent, it’s good to see issues such as Internet Hunting brought to the attention of the public. Hopefully this will spread to other states.

Here is what has been recently signed into law by Governor Ritter so far:

HB-1185 will require that all dogs & cats adopted from shelters and rescue organizations in Colorado be spayed or neutered.

HB-1200 Establishes criminal penalties for Internet hunting in Colorado. This applies not only to operating an Internet hunting facility (which was already made illegal by rule of the Colorado Wildlife Commission), but also to participating in a "hunt" from a computer located in Colorado.

HB-1304 Increases the penalties for killing a bald eagle.

Navy Release EIS: Sonar Training Exercises WILL Kill at Minimum 30 Marine Mammals Per Year: Will Not Impose Stricter Standards Imposed by Judge

Will Not Impose Stricter Standards Imposed by Federal Judge

Surprise, surprise. The US Military will not safeguard any life AND they won't listen to court orders. As stated below, “Navy training exercises could expose 94,370 marine mammals to behavior-altering sonar frequencies each year, potentially injuring or killing as many as 30.”

Article:

Navy Crock-It

http://www.grist.org/news/2008/
04/04/navy/index.html?source=rss

Sonar will kill some marine life but safeguards are adequate, says Navy

Posted at 2:47 PM on 04 Apr 2008

Navy training exercises could expose 94,370 marine mammals to behavior-altering sonar frequencies each year, potentially injuring or killing as many as 30, according to an environmental impact statement released Friday by the Navy. But in its 1,796-page report, the Navy sticks with current safeguards for protecting marine animals, not adopting stricter standards imposed by a federal judge earlier this year. Green groups are likely to challenge the EIS in court, continuing a seemingly neverending cycle of litigation and appeals.

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