Los Angeles Bans Animal Traps that Grip or Snare

In a victory for animal rights, the Los Angeles City Council voted unanimously to ban traps that grip or snare foxes, coyotes, and other such animals in the city, labeling such traps as inhumane.

 

The new rule disallows commercial trappers from using any traps that grip or snare the animals in any way. However, such traps can still be used for mice, rats, and other small rodents.

 

Cage traps that utilize a locking door can still be used by commercial trappers, which will allow many to stay in business.

 

The city’s Department of Animal Services will also create measures that ensure locking door traps are not used inhumanely, in instances such as keeping a locked animal caged for hours in summer heat.

 

Wildlife protection groups applaud the decision, saying that the banning of such traps will prevent suffering and it will keep other animals safe.

 

The impetus behind banning such traps was the fact gripping or snaring devices often do not actually kill the animal, but leave it to suffer.

 

In addition to eliminating suffering, banning such traps will ensure that pets are not accidentally injured or killed by snare or grip traps.

 

Trapping groups in Los Angeles did not offer any public comment on the ban, however, the president of a local wildlife management service told city council earlier in the year that revolving door traps are not an efficient way to catch coyotes.

 

Animal rights group around the country, including PETA, offered support for the ban, which may prompt other cities in the United States to propose such bans in their respected councils.

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Hunter Mistakes Car For Wild Boar And Kills Driver

A short-sighted hunter who shot a car driver dead and wounded his passenger after bizarrely mistaking them for wild pigs is facing 5 years in jail.

Zbigniew Kowalski, 60, from the town of Leczyca in central Poland, had been out hunting in a nearby forest when he spotted the car containing victims Lukasz Nowakowski, 21, who survived, and Josef Kuchar, 23, who later died.

Mistaking the car for a wild boar he had let off a volley of shots, hitting Kuchar in the neck and Nowakowski in the chest.

Prosecutor Krzystof Kopania said: “The two men were wounded, but the driver Josef Kuchar, who later died, managed to drive them both to his home where his parents immediately called an ambulance.

“But by the time he got to hospital it was too late.

“We identified the hunter, he was immediately detained and he confirmed that he had mistakenly shot at the car. He realised his mistake when the ‘wild boar’ started its engine and drove off, but because whoever had driven off had clearly been alive he assumed he had missed the vehicle.”

Kowalsk later said he had not called police as a result and had carried on hunting. It was only when police cars turned up that and he was questioned by officers did he realise he had indeed hit somebody in the car.

Police confirmed that he will now be charged with manslaughter.

Fudd

Pasture Raised Eggs: The Humane, Sustainable Fiction

Walker_house_and_farm, Pasture Raised Eggs farm

http://freefromharm.org/animal-products-and-ethics/pasture-raised-eggs/

by Robert Grillo

n a recent article in Civil Eats by author Brie Mazurek, a farmer named Nigel Walker of Eatwell Farm in Dixon, California gets a chance to puff up his more humane vision for pasture raised eggs. His solution? For one thing, in response to his customers’ frequent concerns over the killing of male chicks at the hatcheries which supply nearly all egg farms, from factory farms to backyard hen keepers, Walker now breeds his own birds instead.

To this end, he is asking his supporters — consumers seeking truly humane, sustainable egg products — to fund this project. But we did a bit of detective work and found that, contrary to his sustainability and “ecosystem” rhetoric, Walker appears to be living in a sprawling McMansion as shown in the aerial photograph from Google Maps. More on the “ecological” and “sustainable” claims he makes about his farm later in this article.

In the following, I’ve addressed several points and claims made by both Mazurek and Walker.


Civil Eats: “…many conscientious eaters go out of their way to purchase pasture-raised eggs laid by happy chickens, …”

Red jungle fowl Photo: Goldy RS

My response: Many conscientious eaters would do well to learn that a pasture is nothing like a natural habitat for chickens. Chickens originate from, and still inhabit, tropical rainforests where they have evolved “happily” for millions of years. Their brains, behaviors and natural instincts have been shaped by one of the most complex, diverse and dynamic ecosystems on the planet. A largely tree-less, open farm “pasture” is an artificial, foreign environment in which chickens feel vulnerable and exposed to predators. Pasture-raised chickens frequently exhibit heightened cortisol levels (a stress hormone) indicating a sense of being in danger. In fact, it is the pasture farmers themselves who are so often complaining about the number of chickens they’ve lost to predators. In contrast, chickens in their natural rainforest habitat create their own social order that collectively — and very successfully — thwarts predators, with the help of abundant trees. Some studies have shown that chickens successfully survive a predator attack 90% of the time in their natural environment.

Moreover, forcing animals to live in an environment that is foreign to them and that places them in harm’s way — and breaking up their natural social order so that we can exploit them for their eggs and flesh — is neither “conscientious” nor “natural.” Finally, to do so contradicts what most of us claim to already believe, that it is wrong to harm animals unnecessarily and when we could so easily avoid it.

Civil Eats: “ ‘We are on a mission to put the old breeds of poultry back to work,’ he [Walker] says. While such birds may produce fewer eggs and put on pounds more slowly than modern breeds, they tend to be more healthy, resilient, and productive in the long run.”

My response: The “old” breeds are still manipulated to reproduce an unnatural number of eggs. By contrast, wild chickens lay only a few clutches of eggs, or 10 to 15 eggs per year. Like all birds, they lay eggs only during breeding season and only for the purpose of reproducing. (1) Painful and often fatal reproductive disorders and diseases resulting from this history of invasive genetic manipulation for overproduction of eggs are still commonly reported in so-called heritage breeds as well.

pasture raised

Civil Eats: “As the flock grows, the birds must be carefully tracked. Each time a hen goes to lay an egg, a door closes behind her (in what is called a trap nest) so that the bird and her egg can be recorded by Eatwell staff. The best of the best will be selected for hatching.”

My response: There is essentially no difference in the intent and practice of breeding chickens for specific traits in Walker’s method described above, and the selective breeding methods used by industrial hatcheries that farmers like Walker already claim to oppose. Both rely on dominating and exploiting the female reproductive system, weeding out “inferior” animals in favor of those with “superior” traits, with the goal of increasing productivity and profit. The end goal is still one of more efficient exploitation. If we were to apply this same mentality and methodology to our treatment of certain groups of human beings, we would be looking at something like the Nazi scientists and ideologues who promoted a vision of an “optimal” Aryan race. If it’s immoral to dominate and manipulate human animals in such a manner, then how can it possibly be moral to control and modify non human animals in this way, particularly when the latter have no way of consenting? Arbitrary prejudice is the basis for both instances of breeding and manipulating sentient beings.

Civil Eats: “The males will be raised to maturity and processed for meat, providing additional income for the farm.”

kill cone_cropped_650

My response: How does the farmer define “maturity?” What does that mean for a bird with a natural lifespan of 8 to 15 years? How many weeks is he allowed to live past the mere seven weeks of life of a typical “broiler” chicken on an industrial farm? A few more weeks, perhaps? If so, he is hardly “mature” at this point, but rather still in his infancy. Walker pretends he’s doing the male chicks a favor by letting them “mature” into slightly older infants before he needlessly butchers them for meat.

Civil Eats: “Chickens play an invaluable role in the farm’s ecosystem, having eliminated the need for compost and external fertilizers.”

My response: Since when is a farm a “natural ecosystem”? And why would you want to eliminate compost, nature’s own free fertilizer, and replace it with excrement from domesticated “invasive” species? I checked in with our seasoned sustainability expert, Will Anderson, to get more answers. He wrote: “At Eatwell Farm, chickens may be indispensable to the egg and chicken meat business, but not to an ecosystem. In the far more limited sense, chickens do cycle nutrients back to the soil, but those nutrients required the artificial addition of more energy and water intensive inputs in the form of 30 tons of organic wheat grown specifically to feed the chickens (see http://www.cuesa.org/seller/eatwell-farm). Eatwell’s agroecosystem does not increase biomass for the ecosystem, but removes much of it when sold as food and the chickens are taken to slaughter.”

pasture raised

Civil Eats: “The real core issue here is getting animals back on farms and out of these confinement operations,” says Walker. “Yes, we want their eggs, and the meat is great, too, but the reason we have our chickens is that they eat the pasture and fertilize the ground. All our organic vegetables are grown with fertility from cover crops and chickens.”

My response: Again I defer to Will Anderson: “Veganic agriculture provides the compost for crops minus the waste of wheat [used for chicken feed] and loss of chicken and dairy lives while using less energy, land, and water. Like others who celebrate animal agriculture, Nigel Walker seems not to ask what could be better. As a result, they overlook the fact that these practices are not sustainable given the extent of global ecosystem destruction, and, more obviously, are not needed as food.”

According to agricultural and plant pathology expert Dr. Steve Savage, “Manure is also a non-ideal fertilizer in many ways.” “The animals didn’t ‘make’ any of those nutrients [needed to fertilize crops]. For instance, the ~2% nitrogen in cow manure came from whatever they ate (grass, corn, soybeans…) …The cow is just passing a bit of that along.” Using manure as a fertilizer has the added disadvantage of creating more greenhouse gases and wasting more water and feed inputs to produce the same crop yields. (2)

As for the scale of such an operation, where does all the land needed to give animals a “natural” farm life come from?, asks author and program director of United Poultry Concerns, Hope Bohanec. “At any given time, there are 100 million head of cattle and 70 million pigs alive in the U.S. Currently, only about 9 percent of all livestock is pasture raised. How would we ever have the land to pasture raise them all? To give all farmed animals the space they need to have even a semblance of a natural life, we would have to destroy millions more acres of wild areas, forests, prairies, and wetlands to accommodate them. There is not enough land on the planet, or even two planets, to free-range all the billions of pigs, sheep, turkeys, ducks, and chickens. We would need closer to five planet Earths. It simply cannot be done. Free-ranging animals for food can never be more than a specialty market for a few elite buyers.” (3)

Civil Eats: “We’re trying to find a bird that can live outside, where it can express all of its chickenness…”

My response: Where can chickens actually express “all of their chickenness?” Well, we can turn to sanctuaries who have rescued these birds from the farming industry and who value them, not as units of production, but for their intrinsic value as autonomous individuals who have names and unique personalities. We can also turn to recent scientific research that confirms what many who have observed chickens closely for years have long known to be true. What we’ve learned about the avian brain and behavior in just the last 15 years contradicts hundreds of years of misinformed views about chickens and other birds. Much of what was previously thought to be the exclusive domain of human / primate communication, brain and cognitive function, and social behavior is now being discovered in chickens and other birds. (4)

chickens-in-tree

Farms, whether pasture-based or not, value animals only to the extent that they provide a resource to that farm. That will never change. Animals regarded as pieces of property are treated as property, regardless of whatever feel-good fictions are used to mask this reality. It is anthropocentric and prejudicial to claim that animals desire or deserve to be used and killed as our resources. Quite the opposite is true and easy to conclude from simple observation. Animals regularly and clearly demonstrate an interest in staying alive and living freely and, like us, in avoiding pain, suffering and death — all of which interests are denied them when they are exploited for their flesh, eggs and milk.

(1) 12 Egg Facts the Industry Doesn’t Want You to Know

(2) Dr. Steve Savage , No, Cows Don’t Make Fertilizer

(3) Hope Bohanec, The Humane Hoax

(4) Robert Grillo, Chicken Behavior: An Overview of Recent Science

- See more at: http://freefromharm.org/animal-products-and-ethics/pasture-raised-eggs/#sthash.U8ic4Vo5.SYMDH2HG.dpuf

This Labor Day, Take Extinction Off the Grill

 

Tofu kebabsLabor Day is one of the top meat-eating days of the year, giving it one of the biggest environmental footprints of any U.S. holiday. The burgers, hotdogs and other meat grilled over the long weekend are responsible for excessive water use, habitat loss and greenhouse gas emissions.

But Labor Day celebrations don’t have to come at the expense of wildlife. The Center’s Take Extinction Off Your Plate campaign launched Extinction-free BBQ this week to help you take extinction off your grill too. The campaign’s website features meat-free, wildlife-friendly recipes contributed by top vegan bloggers and chefs, including Alicia Silverstone (The Kind Diet), Bryant Terry (Afro-Vegan) and Laura Theodore (aka the Jazzy Vegetarian).

The site also features tips on greening your cookout and facts on how meat consumption affects your health and the health of the planet.

Check out Extinction-free BBQ and let us know how you’re protecting wildlife this Labor Day by using the #extinctionfreebbq hashtag on social media.

 

Montana Update: Wolf stamp hearing stirs statewide debate

Originally posted on Wisconsin Wildlife Ethic-Vote Our Wildlife:

Montana is debating whether to add non-hunter money into a system long totally controlled by funding on killing licenses. The wolf stamp debate centers on whether a state agency funded by license sales should tap into nonhunters for funding for management of one of its most controversial species. The opportunity to allow Montana residents to invest in NONLETHAL forms of wolf management? Really? Read on by clicking here.

 Also, please read the following post:

_________________

August 19 post on The Wildlife News

Wolf stamp hearing: Great interest and internal division

by Ralph Maughan

Hunters split. So were wolf advocates-

The wolf stamp hearing is over. It was teleconferenced. It seems like those for it were about equal to the number of opponents. Just as interesting is the hunters were divided on it, and so were wolf advocates. The split among the latter has been mirrored at the Wildlife News…

View original 153 more words

WTF HSUS?

You could say that I am more than a bit peeved at the HSUS these days. Their shameless promotion of meat-eating—especially their sponsoring the hedonistic “Hoofin’ It” event—has me downright pissed off. 

I have to wonder if they can even see above the bullshit they’ve sunk into this time. 

For years I was an ardent supporter of their policies—until they went out of their way to join Whole Foods in perpetuating the myth of “humane” meat. Instead of sticking to their guns and helping to usher in an era of evolution that takes us beyond animal agriculture, they’re bent on reviving the “Old McDonald’s Farm” fantasy.

I live next door to Old McDonald, and I’ve seen how he treats his farm animals. It isn’t pretty.

One of the flesh food purveyors featured in the “Hoofin’ It” event (the ranch that raises bison) waxes poetic about their “product” as though it were a hand-crafted ale or fine wine: “Our bulls are…finished with a natural diet of whole corn, sunflower pellets…” and “are harvested and processed at the prime age of 24-30 months, weighing approximately 1,100 pounds.” 

 

Photo Copyright Jim Robertson

Photo Copyright Jim Robertson

Prime age for whom? Certainly not for the Bison! Bison don’t even reach maturity until 3 years of age and can live well over 30 years in the wild when allowed to. The bison whose flesh they’re selling are still babies. In the wild, male bison remain with their mothers for at least 3 years before joining in with groups of other bulls. It’s like eating a lamb who is never allowed to grow up to be a sheep. And who the fuck eats a lamb anyway, HSUS? 

The big question is, how does one “humanely” kill (“harvest” or “process”) a 1000 pound, gregarious, empathetic herd animal who relates enough to others to make a habit of mourning over their dead? “Processing” day must be a real sad, morbid, not to mention horrifying day for those waiting in line for their turn to get slaughtered. 

This whole alternative “humane” meat issue reminds me of the popular new micro-brewery that cropped up in the small town of Twisp, WA, where I used to live. Their menu featured grass-fed, organic beef from a local rancher who turned out to be none other than wolf-hater/poacher Bill White. White, along with his son, was responsible for baiting and killing off most of Washington State’s first wolves, the Lookout Pack. (Yes, they’re the same folks who got caught trying to send a bloody wolf hide through the mail to Canada.) 

Is the HSUS being led down the garden path by other (possibly wolf-hater/poacher) ranchers who are eager to sell a higher-priced product to a new generation of starry-eyed foodies who think the sentient animals they’re eating were happy to know they were “sustainably” harvested? 

It was partly because of the wisdom of a few friends working for the HSUS on wildlife issues that my wife and I went vegan 16 years ago. Those friends are still as dedicated to the animal rights cause as ever, but somehow the HSUS as a group must have lost its nerve, its soul and now, its ever-loving mind.

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How the Current Mass Extinction of Animals Threatens Humans

We seem indifferent to the mass extinction we’re causing, yet we lose a part of ourselves when another animal dies out.

Simon Worrall

for National Geographic http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2014/08/140820-extinction-crows-penguins-dinosaurs-asteroid-sydney-booktalk/

Published August 20, 2014

More species are becoming extinct today than at any time since dinosaurs were wiped off the face of the Earth by an asteroid 65 million years ago. Yet this bio-Armageddon, caused mainly by humans, is greeted by most of us with a yawn and a shrug. One fewer bat species? I’ve got my mortgage to pay! Another frog extinct? There are plenty more!

A photo of the cover of Thom Van Doreen's book, "Flight Ways—Life And Loss At The Edge of Extinction"

In his new book Australian anthropologist Thom Van Dooren tries to break through this wall of indifference by showing us how we’re connected to the living world, and how, when a species becomes extinct, we don’t just lose another number on a list. We lose part of ourselves.

Here he talks about grieving crows and urban penguins—and how vultures in India provide a free garbage-disposal service.

Your book is part of a new field of enquiry known as extinction studies. Can you give us a quick 101?

It’s an attempt to think about what role the humanities, and to some extent the social sciences, might play in engaging with the contemporary extinction crisis. In other words, how ethics, historical, and ethnographic perspectives can flesh out our notion of what extinction is and the way that different communities are differently bound up in extinction or potential solutions via conservation.

We live in a time of mass extinctions. How bad is it?

I think that it’s pretty widely accepted now that we’re living through the sixth massive extinction. The fifth one was 65 million years ago, when the dinosaurs vanished. Today we’re losing biodiversity at a similar rate. And this is, of course, an anthropogenic mass extinction. The primary cause is human communities.

But what we’re trying to do in extinction studies is to think about scale in different ways. How the loss of a species is not just the loss of some abstract collection of organisms that we can add to a list but contributes to an unraveling of cultural and social relationships that ripples out into the world in different ways.

You say that despite this, there is very little public outcry. Are people just too overwhelmed by the enormity of the crisis? Or what?

I think there are lots of answers to that question. For some people it probably is overwhelming. People have “mourning fatigue.” But I think for most people it’s just a genuine lack of awareness about the rates of biodiversity loss that we’re experiencing.

There’s an even more important answer to the question, though, which is that we haven’t found ways to really understand why it is that extinction matters. We can talk about numbers and the loss of a white rhino or a kakapo. But we haven’t developed the kind of story that we need to explain why it is that it matters—what is precious and unique about each of those species.

You have a wonderful phrase, “telling lively stories about extinction.” What does that mean?

I was trying to get at two things. One is to tell stories that make a committed stand for the living world. The other is to tell stories that are themselves lively, that will draw people in and arouse a sense of curiosity and accountability for disappearing ways of life, so they might contribute to making a difference. Stories are one way we make sense of the world and decide what it is that matters and what it is we will invest our time and energy in trying to hold on to and take care of.

Flight Ways differs from many other books in that it’s less interested in the phenomenon itself than in our moral and emotional responses to the crisis.

I have a background in philosophy and anthropology. So I’m more interested in how we understand and live with extinction. I started out wanting to write a book about extinction in general. But what I found doing fieldwork with scientists and communities bound up with the disappearing birds I describe is that each extinction event is totally different. There isn’t a single extinction tragedy. Each case is a unique kind of unraveling, a unique set of losses and consequences that need to be fleshed out and come to terms with.

Tell us about “urban penguins.”

One of the last colonies on mainland Australia, only about 60 or 65 breeding pairs, live in what is the biggest harbor in Australia, Sydney, my hometown. Some of them even nest under the ferry wharf, which many people don’t know as they catch the ferry in and out of the mainland. They’re beautiful little birds, about one foot [30 centimeters] tall, and they’ve been coming here as long as there have been historical records. Thanks to the dedication and work of conservationists and volunteer penguin wardens, who make sure the birds aren’t harassed at night or attacked by dogs and foxes, they’ve managed to hang on.

So that’s a hopeful story?

Yes, I think in many ways it is a hopeful story. For the most part we’ve been talking about extinctions that are caused by people. But in this case living in proximity with humans seems to be working.

One of your bugbears is what you call human exceptionalism. What is that?

This is a concept used by philosophers to describe an attitude where humans are set apart from the rest of the natural world. A little bit special, and so not like the other animal species.

The Lords of Creation?

Exactly. Rather than thinking of ourselves as an animal, we have a long history, in the West at least, of thinking of ourselves as either the sole bearers of an immortal soul or a creature that is set apart by its rationality and its ability to manipulate and control the world.

There are a whole lot of consequences that flow on from that kind of an orientation to the world. And some of them are very damaging for our species and for the wider environment. By diagnosing and analyzing human exceptionalism, we can try to fit humans back into the “community of life,” as the philosopher Val Plumwood called it.

Extinctions affect us in complex ways. Tell us about the Gyps vulture of India.

That’s a particularly interesting case, which drove home to me how extinction matters differently to different communities. The Parsi community in Mumbai have traditionally exposed their dead to vultures in “towers of silence,” as they’re called in English. Now the vultures are disappearing. Estimates suggest that 97 to 99 percent of the birds have gone in the last few decades. So the Parsi community is left in a very difficult position of trying to figure out how to appropriately and respectfully take care of their own dead in a world without vultures.

Vultures are great at garbage disposal, aren’t they?

[Laughs.] They certainly are! It’s estimated that they clean up five to ten million camel, cow, and buffalo carcasses a year in India. And that is obviously a free service. [Laughs.]

They’ve also played an important role in containing disease of various kinds and controlling the number of predators that feed on those carcasses and spread other diseases, like rats or dogs. The worry now is that the decline in vultures may lead to rises in the numbers of scavengers and in the incidence of diseases like rabies and anthrax in India.

You wrap the idea of the importance of mourning the loss of a species into a chapter about the Hawaiian crow. Do crows really grieve?

Yes, I think there’s very good evidence to suggest that crows and a number of other mammals grieve for their dead, and we don’t quite know how to make sense of that. In part this is bound up in those issues of human exceptionalism—the notion that grieving is something that only humans do. But it’s clear from observations of different species around the world that crows do mourn for other crows. They notice their deaths, and those deaths impact on them. So the chapter is a provocation to us to pay attention to all of the extinctions that are going on around us, to take up the challenge of learning from them in a way that, I hope, leads us to live differently in the world.

The Hawaiian crow is another good news story, isn’t it?

That’s right, thanks to really dedicated work by the Hawaiian state government, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the San Diego Zoo. They’ve been looking after these birds and breeding them in captivity for decades, and they now have over a hundred birds.

But what they need is somewhere for them to be released. They need good forest, and there’s not a lot of good forest left in Hawaii. Introduced species, like pigs and goats, have largely destroyed the understory of a lot of Hawaiian forest. There are plans to fence some of these areas and remove the ungulates, so that the forest might be restored. It’s a work in progress. But something a lot of people are dedicating a lot of time and energy towards achieving.

Your book is also a clarion call to action. You write, “We are called to account for nothing less than the entirety of life on the planet.” What can a regular Joe like me do?

That’s a tough question, which I struggle with all of the time. It’s one of the reasons that I write and tell stories. I love to do it. It’s also something that I find challenging, and I think might contribute in some way. So all that I can suggest to others is that they find ways of contributing, which they feel similarly passionate about and which might contribute, even in some small way. I don’t think change comes from singular, world-changing events. I think it’s built slowly, piece by piece, by people who are passionate about the world.

Read other interesting stories in National Geographic’s Book Talk series.


RELATED

Species Extinction Happening 1,000 Times Faster Because of Humans?
The Sixth Extinction: A Conversation with Elizabeth Kolbert
Mass Extinctions: What Causes Animal Die-Offs?

WDFW adopts new tactics to stop wolves

copyrighted Hayden wolf walking
Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife
600 Capitol Way North, Olympia, WA 98501-1091

http://wdfw.wa.gov/  

August 20, 2014
Contact: Craig Bartlett, (360) 902-2259
WDFW adopts new tactics to stop wolves
from preying on flock of sheep
OLYMPIA – A rancher and state wildlife officials working to herd a flock of 1,800 sheep away from the site of recent wolf attacks in southern Stevens County today received authorization to shoot wolves that approach the flock.
Phil Anderson, director of the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW), today authorized livestock owner Dave Dashiell, of Hunters, and agency field staff to use limited lethal measures and preventative steps to avoid additional attacks on the flock.
Since Aug. 14, WDFW has confirmed that wolves killed 16 sheep in four separate incidents on leased forest land near Hunters, a small community about 48 miles northwest of Spokane. The latest attack occurred the night of Aug. 18.
Nine other sheep found prior to Aug. 14 had decomposed to the point where the cause of death could not be determined.
Signals from a radio collar attached to a male wolf in the Huckleberry Pack show the animal was at the site, likely with other pack members, when the attacks occurred, said Nate Pamplin, WDFW wildlife program director.
Necropsies of the carcasses confirmed the sheep were killed by wolves, he said.
“The rancher has four large guard dogs and camps alongside his flock at night,” Pamplin said. “Yet, the attacks have continued, even after the department sent four members of our wildlife-conflict staff and an experienced range-rider to help guard the sheep and begin moving them out of the area.”
To further protect his sheep, the livestock owner has removed the carcasses of dead animals where possible to do so and kept his flock on the move around the grazing areas, Pamplin said.
“Dave Dashiell has worked closely with WDFW field staff to find solutions to this situation,” Pamplin said. “We really appreciate his efforts and his cooperation in working toward a shared goal.”
To support those efforts, Anderson directed WDFW wildlife staff to:
  • Help the livestock owner find an alternative grazing area away from the Huckleberry Pack.
  • Capture and collar additional wolves in the pack to provide additional information on their movements.
  • Be prepared to shoot wolves in the vicinity of the livestock owner’s sheep. Neither WDFW staff, nor the livestock owner, who was also authorized to shoot wolves in the vicinity, will actively hunt the wolves or attempt to draw them into range.
“Observing a wolf in the wild is a fairly rare thing,” Pamplin said. “Given the escalating pattern of attacks on this flock of sheep, it’s safe to assume in this situation that any wolves in the vicinity of that flock pose a direct risk to those animals.”
In 2011, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service removed gray wolves from the federal list of endangered species in the eastern third of the state, but the species is still protected under Washington state law. The state Wolf Conservation and Management Plan and state laws set the parameters for responding to wolf predation on livestock.
“Our preferred option is to help the livestock owner move the sheep to another area, but finding a place to graze 1,800 animals presents a challenge,” Pamplin said. “We’ll continue to do everything we can to avoid further conflict.”
The Huckleberry Pack, confirmed as the state’s seventh wolf pack in June 2012, is known to have at least six members and perhaps as many as a dozen. There is no documented evidence that the pack, named after nearby Huckleberry Mountain, has preyed on livestock until now.

This message has been sent to the Gray Wolf Pack Updates and Information mailing list.
Visit the WDFW News Release Archive at:
http://wdfw.wa.gov/news/

Stop the Blood Sport of Bear Hunting

Photo Copyright Jim Robertson

Photo Copyright Jim Robertson

Those who respect wildlife get tired of seeing smiling “hunters” posing with a weapon in one hand and holding up the head of a majestic bear with the other. In death, the bear shows more dignity than its cowardly killer.

Lynn Rogers, Ph.D., the leading black bear biologist in North America, concluded that black bears are extremely timid and pose little risk to anyone. Attacks by a black bear are so rare as to be almost nonexistent. A person is about 180 times more likely to be killed by a bee than a black bear and 160,000 times more likely to die in a traffic accident.

The New Jersey Fish and Wildlife agency propagates game species for its hunter constituents. It runs a blood “sport” killing business under the fraudulent cover of “conservation.”

Killing a black bear is a cowardly act. It’s killing for nothing more than sick kicks and “trophy” bragging rights.

Most bears are already starting hibernation and are defenseless. “Hunters” are even allowed to use bait.

Killing a black bear mom leaves her cubs to die of starvation. Don’t worry, the agency encourages “hunters” to shoot cubs, too. It’s an obscene and senseless act, and a reflection of the worst of human nature. If bears could shoot back, there wouldn’t be a hunter in the woods.

Please politely ask Gov. Chris Christie to cancel the bear hunt that begins Dec. 8. Email constituent.relations@gov.state.nj.us; write Office of the Governor, P.O. Box 001, Trenton, NJ 08625; call (609) 292-6000; or fax (609) 292-5212.

SILVIE POMICTER

Voice Of The Animals

President/Humane Educator

Chinchilla, Pa.

http://www.courierpostonline.com/story/opinion/readers/2014/08/19/letter-stop-blood-sport-bear-hunting/14316969/