SAVE THE ENDANGERED SPECIES ACT FROM EXTINCTION

Earthjustice
The Endangered Species Act is one of the strongest, most effective wildlife protection laws in the world. It was passed with overwhelming bipartisan support more than 40 years ago to provide a legal safety net for wildlife, fish and plant species that are in danger of extinction. Now this Congress—which is shaping up to be the most anti-wildlife Congress we have ever seen—wants to slash the Endangered Species Act, threatening the very existence of the imperiled wildlife and ecosystems the Act protects.

We cannot allow this bedrock environmental law to be undermined by lawmakers who are in the pocket of polluting industries. Tell your representative to stand up for the Endangered Species Act now!

Biologists warn that our planet is facing a sixth wave of mass extinction. The Endangered Species Act, which has prevented 99 percent of the species under its care from vanishing, is precisely the kind of effective tool we need today. It has revived the bald eagle, the American alligator, the California condor and many others.

Yet anti-environment interests in the House and Senate are currently orchestrating some of the most serious threats ever posed to the Endangered Species Act. Some of the legislative proposals put specific imperiled wildlife species on the chopping block, while others attack core provisions of the Endangered Species Act itself.

House Natural Resources Chairman Rob Bishop (R-UT) has said he wants to “repeal and replace” the Endangered Species Act. Others are supporting legislative proposals that would make it harder for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to resolve Endangered Species Act lawsuits.

Take action now to ensure this landmark law is not weakened by political attacks.

During the previous (114th) Congress, anti-wildlife representatives authored more than 100 bills and amendments to undermine the Endangered Species Act. Similar legislative attacks are already being introduced in the current (115th) Congress. These proposals would put imperiled species at greater risk by:

  • Establishing arbitrary land boundaries where species protections would not apply
  • Imposing limitations on the ability of citizens to help enforce the Endangered Species Act
  • Undermining the use of science under the Endangered Species Act
  • Declaring open season on individual species, including wolves and sage grouse, by blocking federal protections or denying existing protections

If anti-environment members of Congress get their way, the Endangered Species Act’s vital protections will be cast aside. Tell your congressional representatives and senators to oppose any legislation that hurts imperiled wildlife!

Earthjustice and supporters like you have been fighting to stop political attacks on the Endangered Species Act for decades. We can’t do it without you—we need your help to defend this important law.

TAKE ACTION! Don’t let anti-environment members of Congress cast aside the Endangered Species Act’s vital protections.
TAKE ACTION

 

The Endangered Species Act is one of the strongest, most effective wildlife protection laws in the world. It was passed with overwhelming bipartisan support more than 40 years ago to provide a legal safety net for wildlife, fish and plant species that are in danger of extinction. Now this Congress—which is shaping up to be the most anti-wildlife Congress we have ever seen—wants to slash the Endangered Species Act, threatening the very existence of the imperiled wildlife and ecosystems the Act protects.
Biologists warn that our planet is facing a sixth wave of mass extinction. The Endangered Species Act, which has prevented 99 percent of the species under its care from vanishing, is precisely the kind of effective tool we need today. It has revived the bald eagle, the American alligator, the California condor and many others.
Yet anti-environment interests in the House and Senate are currently orchestrating some of the most serious threats ever posed to the Endangered Species Act. Some of the legislative proposals put specific imperiled wildlife species on the chopping block, while others attack core provisions of the Endangered Species Act itself.
House Natural Resources Chairman Rob Bishop (R-UT) has said he wants to “repeal and replace” the Endangered Species Act. Others are supporting legislative proposals that would make it harder for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to resolve Endangered Species Act lawsuits.
During the previous (114th) Congress, anti-wildlife representatives authored more than 100 bills and amendments to undermine the Endangered Species Act. Similar legislative attacks are already being introduced in the current (115th) Congress. These proposals would put imperiled species at greater risk by:
  • Establishing arbitrary land boundaries where species protections would not apply
  • Imposing limitations on the ability of citizens to help enforce the Endangered Species Act
  • Undermining the use of science under the Endangered Species Act
  • Declaring open season on individual species, including wolves and sage grouse, by blocking federal protections or denying existing protections
If anti-environment members of Congress get their way, the Endangered Species Act’s vital protections will be cast aside. Tell your congressional representatives and senators to oppose any legislation that hurts imperiled wildlife!
Earthjustice and supporters like you have been fighting to stop political attacks on the Endangered Species Act for decades. We can’t do it without you—we need your help to defend this important law.
Mother Grizzly Bear with cub feeding on clamps. Katmai National Park, Alaska (Andre Anita/Shutterstock)
The Endangered Species Act has prevented 99 percent of the species under its care from going extinct.

Demand that your elected officials oppose all efforts to weaken the Endangered Species Act now.

‘Stop the Yellowstone Massacre’: Group puts up billboards urging end to bison slaughter

The billboard is one of two that the Alliance for the Wild Rockies bought, the other being in Helena. Steve Kelly, a board member for Alliance for the Wild Rockies and the artist who painted the picture, said they hope people will see the signs and pressure Montana Gov. Steve Bullock into blocking the annual shipping of Yellowstone bison to slaughter for the year.

“It’s a horrendous thing,” Kelly said. “He’s the one who has the power to stop it.”

The signs went up this week, arriving after hundreds of bison have already been sent to slaughterhouses and while another few hundred wait their turn. Alliance for the Wild Rockies is one of several environmental groups that oppose shipping bison to slaughter, a practice government officials consider necessary to meet population reduction goals each year.

“The National Park Service needs to address bison overpopulation in Yellowstone National Park,” said Bullock spokeswoman Ronja Abel in an emailed statement.

The culling of Yellowstone’s bison herd happens because of a 17-year-old management plan rooted in fears of the disease brucellosis. Brucellosis can cause animals to abort their calves, and the livestock industry worries that if bison are allowed to roam farther outside of the park that the disease might be spread to cattle herds, though no case of bison transmitting the disease to cattle has been documented in the wild.

Reducing the population is one way they try to curtail the risk of brucellosis transmission. The management plan calls for a population of about 3,000 bison in Yellowstone. About 5,500 bison live there now, and officials want to kill about 1,300 from the herd through public hunting and ship to slaughter this year.

State wildlife officials believe hunters from five tribal nations and those licensed through the state have taken roughly 400 so far. The most recent update from Yellowstone National Park said that 179 bison had been sent to slaughter.

There is precedent for a governor blocking the shipment of bison to slaughter. In 2011, then-Gov. Brian Schweitzer issued an executive order blocking the shipment of any bison to slaughterhouses in Montana, a move that prevented the slaughter of roughly 500 bison.

Using the same powers, Bullock delayed shipments to slaughter earlier this year over a group of 40 bison originally meant for establishing a quarantine program at the Fort Peck Indian Reservation.

A quarantine program would take in bison from Yellowstone and keep them in isolation until they can be certified brucellosis free — a certification that would allow the animals to be taken elsewhere. Yellowstone National Park proposed setting up the quarantine operation at Fort Peck in 2016, a political stalemate over transporting bison through Montana stalled those plans. The park had decided to send those 40 bison to slaughter.

Bullock’s action resulted in a deal to send some of those bison to U.S. Department of Agriculture corrals near Corwin Springs and for the governor to lift the shipping ban.

Abel said in her statement that the state “recognizes culling efforts are not everyone’s preferred approach, and will continue to work directly with the U.S. Department of Interior and USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service to look at future quarantine as an alternative to slaughter.”

Kelly said they want the governor to either revive the previous ban on shipments or write a new executive order. He said there is probably enough support for the action — aside from the state’s powerful agriculture lobby.

“Certainly there’s enough support,” Kelly said. “He’s just favoring the livestock lobby.”

Take Action to Save Oregon Cougars from Hound Hunting

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http://mountainlion.org/ActionAlerts/020217ORfourbills/020217ORfourbills.asp?utm_source=Action+Alert+OR+Hounding+Bills+02-2017&utm_campaign=Action+Alert+9%2F29%2F2015+SD+lower&utm_medium=email

Oregon has introduced four threatening bills that not only promote cruel and unethical hunting methods, they strike at the very heart of the democratic process. Send a message to your Oregon state representative and state senator urging them to oppose bills H.B.2107, H.B.2589, S.B.371 and S.B.458.

 

      • H.B. 2107, H.B. 2589 and S.B. 371: These three bills would allow counties to opt out of Measure 18 via a county-wide vote. Measure 18 is a statewide law banning use of hounds to trophy hunt cougars and was passed by a wide majority of voters throughout Oregon in 1994. These bills would set a dangerous precedent.
      • H.B. 458: Perhaps the most frightening bill, would mandate the Oregon Fish and Wildlife Department to set up a controlled hound hunting program for cougars, bypassing the citizen majority who has repeatedly said no to the sport hunting of cougars with hounds.

 

Hound hunting allows a pack of dogs to run down a cougar until the animal is cornered in a tree or on a rock ledge. The hounds are GPS radio-collared and send a signal to the hounder when they have ‘treed’ an animal and the hounder is then able to shoot the exhausted and terrified cougar at point blank range. There is no fair chase and many hunters don’t approve of the use of hounds for sport hunting.

 

    Letters from Oregon residents will be sent forward via US mail to your legislator. Letters sent from outside of Oregon will be held and sent to the Governor and other decision makers if necessary.
    1. IF YOU LIVE IN OREGON YOUR OPINION IS CRUCIAL.

      Send an electronic letter above and we will forward a paper copy to your representative and send a copy to the Governor of Oregon

http://mountainlion.org/ActionAlerts/020217ORfourbills/020217ORfourbills.asp?utm_source=Action+Alert+OR+Hounding+Bills+02-2017&utm_campaign=Action+Alert+9%2F29%2F2015+SD+lower&utm_medium=email

Please be sure to use your own voice and experiences when adding your comments and feel free to use and expand on the talking points below:

      • These bills would undo Measure 18, the statewide initiative that passed in 1994 by a majority vote to ban cougar trophy hunting with hounds.
      • The passage of these bills would give counties authority to override state law and set a dangerous precedent by rendering majority votes on statewide ballot measure initiatives meaningless.
      • These bills would put Oregon’s cougar population and other wildlife in grave danger from indiscriminate chase by hounds.
      • Hounders should know where their hounds are at all times because of the radio collars they wear, but hounds can range miles from hounders, crossing private land and attacking, injuring and killing non-target game and even pets.
      • Dependent cougar kittens fall victim to hound packs as well, as they are attacked and killed during the chase.
      • Hounds are injured and killed on the hunt as they face large male lions and mother lions who are trying to protect their kittens.
      • Hunting with hounds is not fair chase and many ethical hunters do not approve of hounding.
      • Cougars are ‘treed’ by hounds and must wait with no escape until the hunter arrives to shoot and kill the terrified and exhausted animal at close range.

 

    1. NO MATTER WHERE YOU LIVE, YOU CAN STILL SEND A LETTER.

      If you live outside of Oregon we will forward a paper copy of your letter to the Governor of Oregon. Let’s let them know that MOUNTAIN LIONS SHOULD NOT BE HUNTED BY DOGS!

 

    1. You can SIGN UP FOR EMAIL NOTIFICATIONS for these four bills at: https://olis.leg.state.or.us/liz/2017R1/Measures/list/ by searching for the bill numbers, clicking on them and signing up in the upper right screen for “e-subscribe Email”. You will be notified of legislative actions and hearings on the bills you subscribe to.

 

 

GoFundMe Page Set Up for Man Shot in Sweden Hunting Accident

By TWC News Web Staff
Thursday, February 23, 2017 at 05:55 PM EST

SWEDEN, N.Y. — A fundraising page has been set up for the man seriously injured in a hunting accident in the Town of Sweden earlier this week.

Monroe County Sheriff’s investigators say Brett Blackburn was hunting coyotes with his son in a field off South Lake Road in Sweden when he accidentally shot Robert Williams.

Blackburn told investigators it was dark and he mistook Williams for an animal, firing his rifle once and hitting the Byron man in the abdomen.

Williams remains in guarded condition at Strong Memorial Hospital.

The GoFundMe page, started by Williams’ sister, says most people can recognize him by his “big heart, infectious laugh and relaxed demeanor.”

She says she wants to help her brother, who has a wife and 2-month-old baby, with the now-mounting hospital expenses.

Brett Blackburn was arrested and arraigned on second-degree assault charges for the shooting. He has since posted bail.

Trophy Hunting is Barbaric

02/22/2017 03:50 pm ET | Updated 15 hours ago

(Photo Courtesy of the Humane Society of the United States)

Trophy hunting is a despicable practice that even many hunters disagree with because of clearly unsportsmanlike practices like hunting animals in fenced enclosures, baiting, and using dogs to chase and exhaust wild animals. But the bottom line is that trophy hunting is simply killing for fun or bragging rights and no real hunter who follows any sense of ethics would participate in this blood sport.

Last year, The Humane Society of the United States used data from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to determine that between 2005 and 2014, 1.26 million trophies were brought into the U.S. This is an average of 126,000 trophy imports per year or 345 per day.

The killing of Cecil the lion by American Walter Palmer demonstrated to the world how inhumane trophy hunting is. Cecil was in Hwange National Park in Zimbabwe and wore a collar that transmitted data about his movements back to researchers. This didn’t stop Palmer and his guides from luring the lion outside of the protected preserve with meat and then stalking and killing him. People were outraged and rightfully so.

Even with Walter Palmer as one of its members, Safari Club International continues to facilitate selling trips around the world to kill the rarest animals for their heads and hides. Their recent convention in Las Vegas in February offered the following options to wealthy individuals:

· a Zambian leopard, sable, roan and plains game hunt for $81,000;

· a Canadian polar bear trophy hunt for $72,000;

· a New Zealand red stag and tahr hunt for four people for $92,000.

SCI maintains that it is a “conservation” group that contributes substantially to the economies of poor African nations. Nothing could be further from the truth. To coincide with the meeting in Las Vegas, Humane Society International (HSI) released a study conducted by Economists at Large that finds that trophy hunters have overstated their contributions to African economies and employment.

In Botswana, Ethiopia, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe, trophy hunting brings in just 0.78 percent or less of overall tourism spending and has a marginal impact on employment, accounting for 0.76 percent or less of tourism jobs.

The fact is the segment of the tourism industry in Africa that does not rely on hunting is growing faster and employs 132 times more people than the trophy hunting industry. The tourism ministries of these eight countries must recognize the damage trophy hunting causes to their brand. We should call on these ministries to lead the charge in banning trophy hunting, something Botswana and Kenya – both prosperous tourism destinations – have already done.

Trophy hunting is still big business for SCI. In 2015, revenue from the convention was $14.3 million out of a total revenue of $22.7 million. The money is used to open up trophy-hunting seasons on wolves, fight any efforts to restrict the hunting of African elephants and lions, and lobby Congress to enable hunters to import endangered polar bear trophies into the U.S. or increase hunter access to public lands.

Trophy hunters are losing ground. In 2014, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service restricted imports of elephant trophies from Tanzania and Zimbabwe, as well as conferring threatened and endangered status for African lions. Cecil’s shooting prompted numerous major airlines, including Delta, Virgin Atlantic, and United, to ban the transport of some or all trophies from Africa.

It is up to us to put pressure on Congress to continue to pass laws that limit trophy hunting. This will not be easy as President Trump’s sons are avid trophy hunters. We also need to encourage African nations to turn to viable alternatives to trophy hunting, like ecotourism, which promises sustained growth, much higher economic value, and greater contribution to employment.

Cecil the lion cast a light on this inhumane practice. In his memory, let’s save other big game from wealthy people who are neither hunters nor conservationists – they are cold blooded killers.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/trophy-hunting-is-barbaric_us_58adf859e4b01f4ab51c75ab

IMPENDING TRAGEDY IN THE GULF OF ST. LAWRENCE

by Captain Paul Watson

Sea Shepherd and I have navigated into the ice into the Gulf of St. Lawrence in 1979, 1981, 1982,1983, 1994,1995,1998, 2005 and 2008. That was nine times between 1979 and 2008. Never did I see the area so free of ice as it is now.

Two decades ago the idea of clear ice free sailing trough the Gulf was simply not possible. It took us days to break through the ice pack.

All over the world I have seen the evidence of rapid climate change and you really have to be in willful denial to believe this is not happening or have a vested financial interest in denial.

What is alarming for me is that this is one of the primary areas where harp and hood seals give birth to their pups on the ice. Without ice, thousands of pups will drown at sea and if they are forced to give birth on shore fast ice, the sealers will have easier access to kill them.

These two sat images, one from February 2015 and one for this same day in February 2017 illustrates the concern.

 Image may contain: outdoor

Congressional effort to allow killing hibernating bears and wolf pups in their dens moves to U.S. Senate

February 22, 2017

Last week’s vote on H.J. Res. 69 was one of the most disturbing actions by Congress I’ve witnessed during more than a quarter century of political advocacy for animals. By a 225 to 195 vote, a narrow majority of the U.S. House voted to rescind a rule from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) to forbid the worst wildlife management practices introduced to the field in the last century – shooting hibernating bears with their cubs and denning of wolves and their pups; using airplanes to scout, land, and shoot grizzly bears; and baiting and trapping black and grizzly bears with steel-jawed leghold traps and neck wire snares.

Both obedience to and fear of the NRA and Safari Club International, along with an interest in securing campaign donations from those groups and their supporters, drove more than 200 lawmakers to vote against good sense and common decency.

Rep. Don Young of Alaska, a former board member of the NRA and a licensed trapper – who conceded on the floor that he used to kill wolf pups in their dens for a bounty paid by the federal government — initiated this action and led the charge for his terrible resolution. An identical resolution, introduced by Sen. Dan Sullivan of Alaska as S.J. Res. 18, may be taken up in the Senate next week or soon thereafter.

Let’s take a look at several of Young’s arguments brandished in the run-up to this vote.

Young and other proponents simultaneously argued that the federal rule would restrict hunting and even fishing rights, yet they also said that the practices forbidden under the rule don’t occur.

It’s almost a logical impossibility to severely restrict hunting and fishing rights for practices that aren’t occurring. So what’s really at work here, and where do the truth and these politicians lie? The state of Alaska, especially since the enactment of the Intensive Management Act, has been on a crusade to use well-heeled trophy hunters and state agents to drive down the numbers of grizzly bears, black bears, and wolves, in order to create more moose and caribou for hunters to shoot. In pursuit of this goal, it’s authorized all manner of appalling practices, including hunting and killing methods forbidden by the FWS rule on their lands. In short, if these methods weren’t legal and used, then the state, the Safari Club, and the NRA wouldn’t be clamoring for a rescinding of the measure.

Young and his allies invoked the 10th Amendment and called the battle a states’ rights issue, saying the federal government has no business managing wildlife on federal lands.

This is their most dangerous argument, since this is an attempt to supplant wildlife management by the National Park Service (NPS) and the FWS on over 170 million acres of land throughout the United States – from the refuges and national parks and preserves in Alaska to Yellowstone and Acadia and Everglades in the rest of the United States. While the U.S. Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management have traditionally deferred to the states on wildlife management, the FWS and the NPS have for decades directly controlled the management of wildlife on land dedicated to species preservation. That power is derived from the Constitution and Congress, and the federal courts have repeatedly upheld that right. The FWS rule is aligned with the Alaska National Interests Land Conservation Act (which Young opposed in 1980) and the National Wildlife Refuge System Improvement Act, along with the Property Clause of the U.S. Constitution. The sweeping application of Congressman Young’s invocation of the 10th Amendment would upend management practices at hundreds of parks, preserves, seashores, battlefields, refuges, and other designated land holdings. This has been a long-held aspiration of the NRA and Safari Club, and lawmakers aligned with them took the ball and ran with it. If this principle had merit, then it would just be a matter of time for the state of Wyoming to open hunting seasons on grizzly bears and wolves within the boundaries of Yellowstone National Park, if state managers chose that strategy.

Young said that everybody in Alaska is in favor of his effort to repeal the federal rule.

Rep. Don Beyer of Virginia argued against H.J. Res. 69 and read excerpts from a series of letters from Alaskans opposing the rule. On top of that, there were letters from more than a dozen wildlife biologists from Alaska saying that the FWS rule is the right policy, and that the rule itself was crafted by FWS biologists who work and live in Alaska and felt duty-bound to proscribe activities at odds with the purposes of the refuges. None of these people are cranks, and it turns out, they are not in the minority. statewide pollconducted in February 2016 showed Alaskans oppose denning of wolves by more than a 2-to-1 margin. At a series of public meetings on the FWS proposed rule, many Alaskans turned out to publicly support the rulemaking actions because they want these inhumane, unsustainable, and unsporting practices to end. At the Fairbanks meeting, a clear majority supported the proposed rule. Alaskan voters have put the issue of aerial gunning of wolves on the ballot three times, and passed two of the measures (still lawmakers, violating the wishes of their own constituents, overturned those laws).

The FWS rule, years in the works, was hardly an example of the federal government running roughshod over the state. The opposite is far closer to the truth, with the state trying to bully its way into our national wildlife refuges and national preserves, authorized by Congress. Congress provided the FWS with a statutory mandate requiring the agency to conserve wildlife species, and prohibiting the denning of wolf pups and land-and-scout hunting of grizzly bears falls in line with that mandate. Yet, consistent with its policy, the FWS appealed to the Alaska Board of Game dozens of times to amend its rules to exempt National Wildlife Refuges. The Board of Game refused.

The House outcome is intolerable, and now the debate moves to the U.S. Senate. Only determined action by citizens can stop the Senate from replicating the House action. Call your U.S. Senators and urge them to oppose S.J. Res. 18, by Sens. Lisa Murkowski and Dan Sullivan of Alaska. It’s not just the lives of the wolves and bears at stake, it’s nothing less than the principle of federal control of our parks and refuges throughout the United States.

http://blog.humanesociety.org/wayne/2017/02/congressional-effort-allow-killing-hibernating-bears-wolf-pups-dens-moves-u-s-senate.html?credit=fb_postwp022217

blog.humanesociety.org
Last week’s vote on H.J. Res. 69 was one of the most disturbing actions by Congress I’ve witnessed during more than a quarter century of political advocacy for animals. By a 225 to 195 vote, a narrow majority of the U.S. House voted to rescind a rule from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) . . .

Patricia Randolph’s Madravenspeak: Canned lion hunts an example of human cruelty

Wisconsin Wildlife Ethic-Vote Our Wildlife

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Photo by Dave Richards. See his website at onsafari.co.ke/

“When I get over on the other side, I shall use my influence to have the human race drowned again, and this time drowned good, no omissions, no ark.” — Mark Twain, “On the Damned Human Race”

There will be no God’s mandate for an ark this time. Man is taking the rest of life out with him. Steve Bannon and Donald Trump are giving what Chris Hedges calls a “Christianized fascist” push to planetary extinction and climate chaos.

Man’s dominion turned domination of other animals is a Christian perversion. One can choose what one wants from the Bible. My hunter neighbor tells me, “There are animal sacrifices in the Bible — we are supposed to kill them.”

Most religions do make man the center of the universe.

Driving into Madison early on a Saturday morning, I listened to…

View original post 682 more words

‘Hog Apocalypse’: Texas has a new weapon in its war on feral pigs. It’s not pretty.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/animalia/wp/2017/02/23/hog-apocalypse-texas-has-a-new-weapon-in-its-war-on-feral-pigs-its-not-pretty/?utm_term=.01fdacb6c80b
                                                       _____________________
Best lines: Stephanie Bell, an animal-cruelty director for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, said in a statement that feral hogs “should not be sentenced to death simply for trying to forage and feed their own families.” She noted correctly that feral boars were brought to the United States to be hunted for sport before they proliferated across Texas and other states.
                                                       _________________________
February 23 at 8:44 AM

Securing a Texan’s right to shoot wild pigs from a helicopter may have been Sid Miller’s best-known accomplishment before this week.

The state’s agricultural commissioner hangs a boar’s head and toy chopperoutside his office to remind people of the law he got passed, the Austin American-Statesman reports.

But Miller has never stopped searching for better ways to kill some 2 million feral hogs in Texas that the commissioner accuses of eating newborn lambs, uprooting crops and “entire city parks,” trampling across highways and causing more than $50 million in damage a year.

The search is over, Miller announced Tuesday: “The ‘Hog Apocalypse’ may finally be on the horizon.”

Miller said he would return his entire research budget to the state. He doesn’t need it anymore, he says, after finding “a new weapon in the long-standing war on the destructive feral hog population.”

It’s called warfarin: the pesticide with war in its name. Pigs eat it. It kills them slowly, often painfully, and turns their innards blue. It’s already wiped out swine herds in Australia, which later banned the product as inhumane.

The Environmental Protection Agency just approved it.

Hunters and wildlife experts, not so much.

More than 3,000 have signed the Texas Hog Hunters Association’s petition against Miller’s chemical war.

“If this hog is poisoned, do I want to feed it to my family?” the group’s vice president, Eydin Hansen, asked the Dallas CBS affiliate. “I can tell you, I don’t.”

Stephanie Bell, an animal-cruelty director for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, said in a statement that feral hogs “should not be sentenced to death simply for trying to forage and feed their own families.” She noted correctly that feral boars were brought to the United States to be hunted for sport before they proliferated across Texas and other states.

Tyler Campbell, a former researcher with the U.S. Agriculture Department, led the agency’s feral-hog studies in Kingsville, Tex., for several years, when warfarin was first tested on pigs in the United States.

“It was fast-tracked,” he said.

The test results weren’t pretty, he said. Marketed as Kaput Feral Hog Bait, the product is comparable to rat poison — with similar effects.

“They bleed,” Campbell said. Internally and externally, usually for a week or more before they die.

Just as concerning, he said, were difficulties in preventing other species from eating the poison — which is known to paralyze chickens, make rats vomit and kill all manner of animals.

The EPA regulations — which Texas plans to strengthen by licensing warfarin’s use — requires hogs to be fed the poison out of bins with 10-pound lids.

The lid tactic won’t work, Campbell said. Before retiring from government research a few years ago, he saw a study in which raccoons lifted much heavier lids in search of food.

“The wildlife community at large has reasons to have concerns,” he said.

“We do have very serious concerns about non-target species,” state wildlife veterinarian Jim LaCour told the Times-Picayune.

Even if only hogs can get to the bait, LaCour said, “they’re going to drop crumbs on the outside.” Those crumbs might then be eaten by rodents, which might be eaten by birds, and thus warfarin could spread throughout the ecosystem.

People should be concerned too, LaCour said: Millions take low doses of warfarin, like Coumadin, to prevent blood clots. Ingesting more from poisoned game could be “very problematic,” he said.

Miller isn’t worried.

The commissioner’s office didn’t reply to requests for comment. But in a statement to the CBS station DFW, he said years of testing prove that other wildlife, or pets, “would have to ingest extremely large quantities over the course of several days” to get sick.

As for the hunters’ objections, Miller said a blue dye will make poisoned hogs obvious long before they reach the oven.

“If you want them gone, this will get them gone,” the commissioner told the Statesman.

As precedent, he pointed to Australia, where he said warfarin “was used for many years” on feral hogs.

It was — in experiments that concerned government officials so much they later banned its use on grounds of “extreme suffering.”

The poison was effective, granted. It proved as apocalyptic as Miller promises, taking just a few months to wipe out an estimated 99 percent of wild pigs in Sunny Corner State Forest during an experiment in 1987.

Other studies described poisoned hogs’ last days in explicit detail: Some were lucky; massive internal bleeding killed them quickly after they ate warfarin. Most suffered for a week or more — one pig for a full month before it died.

“Animals moved only if approached closely and spent most time lying in shelter,” researchers wrote in Australian Wildlife Research in 1990.

Some leaked blood from their eyes or anuses. Many bled internally — sometimes into their joints, causing severe pain. An autopsy revealed one pig’s liver had fused to its stomach.

Being shot from a helicopter, the Australian government concluded, was objectively less cruel.