Albania hunting ban takes aim at depopulation

 

 http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/features/2014/11/albania-hunting-ban-takes-aim-at-depopulation-2014111812148301986.html

Wildlife numbers falling rapidly, but a controversial new ban on hunting seeks to protect Albania’s animals.

Last updated: 22 Nov 2014

Tirana, Albania – Bujar Hyka and his friends headed out in their jeep west of Albania’s capital on a recent Sunday morning. Dressed in camouflage, the men navigated the vehicle through rough terrain with three restless English Setters eagerly waiting to jump out.

A year ago, this would have been a hunting trip. But under Albania’s new anti-hunting law, Hyka and his friends have been forbidden to kill animals and now simply hike weaponless through the country’s pristine wilderness.

“The government doesn’t understand that hunting is a sport; they are1907320_10152809923380861_1562740061849294556_n ruining our sport,” said Hyka, 59, head of one of Albania’s hunters and fishermen’s organisations. “It’s like someone taking a football away from footballers.”

Earlier this year, the Albanian government imposed a two-year moratorium on all hunting to save its endangered animal population. Reports suggest 30-50 percent of Albania’s wildlife species have seen a steep decline in the past decade. Hunting is one of the main reasons for the loss.

Among the endangered species in the country are the Balkan lynx, the Egyptian vulture, the Dalmatian pelican, the European eel, and the Albanian water frog.

More Here

Thanks to C.A.S.H.: The Committee to Abolish Sport Hunting 

 

Be Thankful for Hunting Accidents

Text and Wildlife Photography ©Jim Robertson

Text and Wildlife Photography ©Jim Robertson

In response to a favorable comment to a post about a goose hunter who shot his 45 year old son in a hunting accident, one Facebook reader replied:

“I find it disheartening that so many anti-hunters take such psychotic joy in the death of human beings…I find this sort of cheerleading just as bad as the hunters that flaunt their kills. Show some compassion for a change.”

To which I responded, “It’s not that anti-hunters don’t have any compassion; just that their limited supply of it is focused on the original victims (in this case the geese). As police reported about the incident, ‘The two had Canadian Geese decoys spread out in front of their blind…’ Yes, this was a tragedy for the hunters…but they were out there to cause pain, suffering and death for an untold number of geese—a gentle species who care for one another and mate for life. Yesterday afternoon, after the constant blasting of shotguns earlier that day, we saw and heard a lone goose calling mournfully for its lost mate. It is not a game or a sport for the geese—is nothing short of heartbreak.

Hunting accidents are a good way to remind the public about the lethal violence inherent in the “sport” of hunting. To reach the average viewer, the media has to frame everything in the context of how it affects a person. Most people are anthropocentric and have little or no compassion for non-humans. If a human doesn’t get maimed or killed once in a while, people continue to believe the misguided notion that hunting is just a friendly, social hour for traditional family-values proponents; “ethical” conservationists (claiming to be doing the animals a favor by killing them); or worse yet, those fashionable so-called locavore foodies who think of wildlife only as a source of flesh to stuff in their trendy, goateed, hipster gob.

What real harm is there in cheering on the underdog (or deer ordsc_0112 goose or wolf) with remarks like, “What a shame,” “One less hunter out there,” “Another Darwin award,” or “Now he knows what the animals went through.” A mite insensitive, perhaps, but people’s attitudes during wartime can turn rather ugly. And make no mistake; hunting is like war to the animals and those who advocate for them. No doubt the otherwise compassionate Allies cheered as their enemies were eliminated. After all, how much compassion did Hitler and his ilk deserve anyway?

Still, in one way, devoted anti-hunters can be compared to fanatical wolf hunters who won’t be satisfied until they attain their ultimate goal: the total annihilation of their quarry. Yet anti-hunters and other compassionate misanthropists aren’t really planning to march out there and off all hunters. They know that the end of hunting won’t come about merely through  hunting accidents or people violently targeting them. There’s too much pro-hunting propaganda out there and too many hunters breeding mini-Me’s as ready-made hunting partners to one day take over the tradition.

Never mind that folks can get together in the out-of-doors to take a hike, watch birds or photograph wildlife—without taking any lives.

No, hunting isn’t going to end because of a high hunter body count. Not unless those who survive are willing to learn from others’ mistakes and lay down their weapons once and for all.

Now that’s a vision of the future to be thankful for.

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Why the “NO HUNTING” Signs?

I stopped by the small town hardware store yesterday to pick up some fresh “NO HUNTING” signs, and the clerk acted put out that I didn’t let trespassers shoot wildlife on my land.

Like so many cunning hunters nowadays, he wanted to come across as some saintly, salt-of-the-earth type who would be doing me a favor by killing my deer friends. How could I possibly object to that?

Well, in addition to the obvious, there’s always the chance that a family member could be hit by a stray bullet, pellet or arrow, as happened that same day to a beautiful husky mix who was just minding his own business:

Husky survives after being shot in the head with an arrow

By Keith Eldridge   Published: Sep 15, 2014

RAYMOND, Wash. — The search is on for whoever shot a hunting arrow into the skull of a Husky mix dog. The arrow went in straight through the eye socket and the vet says it’s a miracle Sampson alive.

At first, Sampson’s family and local veterinarians had no clue why his eye was swollen and bleeding. Then the initial X-rays showed the startling revelation: A hunting arrow was inside Sampson’s head. A CAT scan further detailed what was going on.

“Razor sharp blades that went in and embedded in the back of his skull,” said Laura Bowerman, Sampson’s owner.

Bowerman says Sampson and their other dog Delilah always roam free on the 30 acres just east of Raymond along the banks of the Willapa River. When Sampson was two hours overdue Sept. 7, they went looking for him.

They found him collapsed at the end of the driveway.

He was rushed to Willapa Vet Services where vets took X-rays showing the arrow went straight back under his brain, clipping the casing around the brain and just a little bit of his brain.

Sampson needed a neurosurgeon immediately. A vet tech accompanied the dog and the family to Summit Vet Referral in Tacoma where neurologist Dr. Jerry Demuth successfully removed the arrow.

“They had to open up the back of his skull to pull out the arrowhead and the rest of the shaft,” Bowerman said. Bowerman doesn’t suspect her neighbor as they have a longstanding agreement about the dogs. But it is bow hunting season for deer and elk. Even though “no trespassing” signs are posted, the area behind the Bowerman’s is prime for hunting.

But why shoot a non-aggressive dog?

“He doesn’t look like a wolf. He’s bigger than a coyote,” Bowerman said. “Somebody… it’s just mean. It’s got to be meanness. Who would shoot a dog?”

So far the Bowerman family says it has spent $7,000 to keep their beloved dog alive.

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Northern Ireland says ‘NO’ to fox and stag hunting

http://www.league.org.uk/news-and-opinion/press-releases/2014/july/northern-ireland-says-no-to-fox-and-stag-hunting

29 July 2014

Animal welfare charity, the League Against Cruel Sports, are appealing to the animal loving public of Northern Ireland to support their anti-hunting campaign by attending a rally against fox and stag hunting this Saturday 2nd August, from 2pm at the Stormont Buildings.

Stormont Rally 250The Rally which is being held by Noelle Robinson, Green Party Councillor for Bangor Central in partnership with the charity, will highlight that Northern Ireland is now the only region within the UK that has not introduced a complete ban on fox and stag hunting.

In 2002, the introduction of the Protection of Wild Mammals Act made it illegal to hunt a wild mammal with a pack of hounds in Scotland. In 2004, after 80 years of tireless campaigning by the League, England and Wales followed suit and the Hunting Act was passed. Ten years on, there is currently no hunting legislation that exists  in Northern Ireland and as such hunting foxes and stags with dogs, continues to be legal.

The charity have therefore given this campaign priority status and hope they will be able to ensure that this barbaric practice is also made illegal in Northern Ireland.

Janice Watt, Senior Public Affairs Officer in N.I said: “It is vital that we gain the support of both the N.I public and politicians in order to resign this cruel and blood thirsty sport to the history books where it belongs. It is not acceptable in the modern age for any animal to be chased to exhaustion, and then ripped apart whilst still alive. 

“The public were outraged at the leniency shown to dog fighters convicted this year in our courts – but what is the difference between setting dogs on a domestic pet, and setting dogs on a fox or stag? The answer is none. We are urging people to show their support for this campaign by attending the rally at Stormont on Saturday.”

Official figures released this month  revealed more individuals were prosecuted for hunting with dogs last year in England and Wales (2013), than in any other since the 2004 ban came into force. A total of 341 convictions under the Act, make it the most successful piece of wild animal legislation, with one person on average prosecuted under the Act every week, and over two-thirds of these convicted.

Some of the hunting industry’s “brightest minds” are working

Task Force Formed to Counter Cyber Threats to Hunters

Sportsmen, conservation organizations and outdoor personalities met at the U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance (USSA) headquarters yesterday to develop strategies to counter the recent increase in cyber-attacks on hunters.

The group makes up the Hunter Advancement Task Force with most members sharing a common theme of having been targeted by animal rights activists through social media.

“This is a great opportunity to start developing ways to hold those responsible for the recent wave of cyber-attacks against sportsmen accountable,” said Nick Pinizzotto, USSA president and CEO.  “The task force is not only working to stop direct attacks on hunters but also discussing how best to educate the public on the vital role sportsmen play in the conservation of all wildlife.”

Attendees included outdoor television personalities Melissa Bachman and Jana Waller, Colorado hunter Charisa Argys along with her father Mark Jimerson,  Doug Saunders of the National Wild Turkey Federation, Bill Dunn of the National Shooting Sports Foundation and John Jackson of Conservation Force, Dennis Foster of the Masters of Foxhounds Association, Tony Schoonan of the Boone and Crockett Club and Mark Holyoak of the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation. Other attendees included USSA President and CEO, Nick Pinizzotto, Evan Heusinkveld, USSA vice president of government affairs, Bill Horn, USSA director of federal affairs, Michelle Scheuermann of Bullet Proof Communications and author Michael Sabbeth.

Bachman, a television producer and host, found her life and career threatened after posting a photo of an African lion she harvested to her Facebook page last year. Almost immediately, Bachman came under attack from anti-hunters around the world. Bachman also found herself the target of death threats that “hit way too close for comfort” when anti-hunters showed up at her office.

“Regardless of your beliefs about hunting, Americans can all agree that threatening someone’s life is simply unacceptable.” said Bachman.

Other members of the task force have also had personal experiences with cyber-bullying including Waller who has had not only threats to her life, but also to her career. Waller, the star of Skull Bound TV, found herself having to defend her livelihood after an anti-hunter called her show sponsors to accuse her of poaching.Task Force

“The whole issue of harassment is so important,” said Waller. “I am scared it is going to deter people from standing tall and proud as hunters.”

While attacks on outdoor-celebrity hunters have been going on for years, average hunters have largely avoided the wrath of the anti-hunting community.  Earlier this year, however, Charisa Argys was thrown into the spotlight when a picture of her legally harvested mountain lion appeared online. The image brought a flood of criticism and threats not only to her, but to family members as well.

“Just because some anti-hunters in Europe went ballistic over a legal hunt, this issue is going to be associated with me for the rest of my life,” said Argys. “It is never going to go away. It’s going to be there forever. It could affect my job prospects and my life.”

This initial task force meeting was just the first of many to develop short and long-range strategies to protect hunters from cyber harassment.

“In the short term we are developing aggressive legal approaches to pursue both civil and criminal legal actions to prosecute anti-hunting harassers.” said Bill Horn, USSA director of federal affairs. “In the long term, we would like to cultivate strategies to provide additional legal protections for hunters who are finding themselves the target of cyber bullying.”

Pinizzotto added, “What this group discussed today and the ideas generated are a terrific first step in protecting hunters now and in the future. We have some of the brightest minds in our industry working on this critical issue.  I look forward to continuing this discussion and adding additional key groups and individuals to the team in the coming weeks.”

‘Radical animal rights movement’ gets new foe

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http://news.yahoo.com/radical-animal-rights-movement-gets-192320330.html

By Michael Beckel 21 hours ago

An Iowa-based organization dedicated to combating “the radical animal rights movement” and led by a former Missouri Republican senator’s chief of staff has launched a new super PAC, according to paperwork filed with the Federal Election Commission.

The Protect the Harvest Political Action Committee told the elections regulator that it “intends to raise funds in unlimited amounts” to call for the election or defeat of federal candidates.

Which politicos will be targeted, however, is still unclear.

Neither the super PAC’s treasurer, Brian Klippenstein, nor its attorney, Mark Roth, responded to requests for comment from the Center for Public Integrity.

Super PACs are legally allowed to solicit unlimited contributions to produce political advertisements — so long as their spending is not coordinated with any candidates’ campaigns.

Klippenstein currently serves as the executive director of Protect the Harvest, a 501(c)(4) “social welfare” nonprofit established in 2011 to educate the public about “the benefits of farming, ranching and hunting” and to advocate “for the right to conduct such activities.”

The nonprofit may engage in politics, although federal law mandates that influencing elections may not be its primary purpose.

On its website, Protect the Harvest warns that “the animal rights movement in America, led by the Humane Society of the United States, has evolved into a wealthy and successful attack group determined to end the consumption of meat, threaten consumer access to affordable food, eliminate hunting, outlaw rodeos and circuses and even ban animal ownership (including pets) altogether.”

That’s “baloney,” said Joe Maxwell, the Humane Society of the United States’ vice president of outreach and engagement. He said his organization is “leading efforts to ensure that we have good stewards of the land and the animals on our farms.”

Protect the Harvest, Maxwell asserted, is “nothing but a front group” that is “in bed with industrialized agriculture.”

There’s more to this story. Click here to read the rest at the Center for Public Integrity.

In the Words of Farley Mowat

The world has suffered another great loss with the death of author, naturalist and avid animal advocate, Farley Mowat. I never had the opportunity to meet him, but I do feel extremely fortunate to have received an endorsement for my book from him, just two short years before his passing.

He didn’t use the internet, so I sent a manuscript to his assistant, who had to hand deliver it (presumably on snowshoes) to him at his place in eastern Canada. This is what he had her send back to me, which now holds a special place on the back cover of the book:

“Robertson’s new book could be titled The Big and Dirty Game, because that’s what it is about — the dirty, bloody business of killing other animals for sport and fun. Fun? Sure, that’s what the Sportsmen say . . but read about it for yourself . . .”   ~ Farley Mowat, Author of Never Cry Wolf and A Whale for the Killing

One of Farley Mowat’s many classic books, A Whale for the Killing, written in1972, was an autobiographical account of his moving to Newfoundland because of his love for the land and the sea, only to find himself at odds with herring fishermen who made sport of shooting at an 80-ton fin whale trapped in a lagoon by the tide. Although he had started off thinking folks around there were a quaint and pleasant lot, he grew increasingly bitter over the attitudes of so many of the locals who, in turn, resented him for “interfering” by trying to save the stranded leviathan.

Mr. Mowat writes, “My journal notes reflect my sense of bewilderment and loss. ‘…they’re essentially good people. I know that, but what sickens me is their simple failure to resist the impulse of savagery…they seem to be just as capable of being utterly loathsome as the bastards from the cities with their high-powered rifles and telescopic sights and their mindless compulsion to slaughter everything alive, from squirrels to elephants…I admired them so much because I saw them as a natural people, living in at least some degree of harmony with the natural world. Now they seem nauseatingly anxious to renounce all that and throw themselves into the stinking quagmire of our society which has perverted everything natural within itself, and is now busy destroying everything natural outside itself. How can they be so bloody stupid? How could I have been so bloody stupid?’”

Farley Mowat ends the chapter with another line I can well relate to: “I had withdrawn my compassion from them…now I bestowed it all upon the whale.”

And Farley Mowat writes here of the wrongheadedness of hunting intelligent animals, such as geese, in his foreword to Captain Paul Watson’s book Ocean Warrior:

“Almost all young children have a natural affinity for other animals, an attitude which seems to be endemic in young creatures of whatever species. I was no exception. As a child I fearlessly and happily consorted with frogs, snakes, chickens, squirrels and whatever else came my way.

“When I was a boy growing up on the Saskatchewan prairies, that feeling of affinity persisted—but it became perverted. Under my father’s tutelage I was taught to be a hunter; taught that “communion with nature” could be achieved over the barrel of a gun; taught that killing wild animals for sport establishes a mystic bond, “an ancient pact” between them and us.

“I learned first how to handle a BB gun, then a .22 rifle and finally a shotgun. With these I killed “vermin”—sparrows, gophers, crows and hawks. Having served that bloody apprenticeship, I began killing “game”—prairie chicken, ruffed grouse, and ducks. By the time I was fourteen, I had been fully indoctrinated with the sportsman’s view of wildlife as objects to be exploited for pleasure.

“Then I experienced a revelation.

“On a November day in 1935, my father and I were crouched in a muddy pit at the edge of a prairie slough, waiting for daybreak.

“The dawn, when it came at last, was grey and sombre. The sky lightened so imperceptibly that we could hardly detect the coming of the morning. We strained out eyes into swirling snow squalls. We flexed numb fingers in our shooting gloves.

“And then the dawn was pierced by the sonorous cries of seemingly endless flocks of geese that cam drifting, wraithlike, overhead. They were flying low that day. Snow Geese, startling white of breast, with jet-black wingtips, beat past while flocks of piebald wavies kept station at their flanks. An immense V of Canadas came close behind. As the rush of air through their great pinions sounded in our ears, we jumped up and fired. The sound of the shots seemed puny, and was lost at once in the immensity of wind and wings.

“One goose fell, appearing gigantic in the tenuous light as it spiralled sharply down. It struck the water a hundred yards from shore and I saw that it had only been winged. It swam off into the growing storm, its neck outstreched, calling…calling…calling after the fast-disappearing flock.

“Driving home to Saskatoon that night I felt a sick repugnance for what we had done, but what was of far greater import, I was experiencing a poignant but indefinable sense of loss. I felt, although I could not then have expressed it in words, as if I had glimpsed another and quite magical world—a world of oneness—and had been denied entry into it through my own stupidity.

“I never hunted for sport again.”

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What Sayeth The Wise Hunter To The Young Boy?

Photo Copyright Jim Robertson

Photo Copyright Jim Robertson

What Sayeth The Wise Hunter To The Young Boy?
By Gary Yourofsky
An Animal Rights Poem from All-Creatures.org

All of God’s creatures have rights, a fact that most people don’t seem to recognize. This includes both human and non-human animals, but not all of them can speak for themselves.

What Sayeth The Wise Hunter To The Young Boy?
By Gary Yourofsky
Animals Deserve Absolute Protection Today and Tomorrow (ADAPTT)

Boy: O Wise Hunter, how can I learn to respect animals and to respect life?

Hunter: Buy a rifle and get a hunting license. Then hunt the animals down and kill them.

Boy: And that will help me attain a respect for animals and for life?

Hunter: Yes, of course it will, boy. Plus, if you go hunting with your father or your grandfather, then you can really bond with them.

Boy: But couldn’t I bond with them at a baseball game or at an amusement park?

Hunter: I guess so. But then you couldn’t kill anything.

Boy: O Wise Hunter, what happens to some of the deer during the winter?

Hunter: Well, some of the weak ones starve to death. And that’s a very cruel way to die. So – instead – hunters shoot some deer, cut off their heads for trophies, dismember their bodies and eat their flesh in order to save them from the cruelties.

Boy: But, uh, uh, how come hunters never shoot starving deer – only big, healthy ones?

Hunter: Uh, uh, uh, boy. Now you just keep quiet about that.

Boy: And another thing, Wise One, if hunters were really concerned about starving animals, wouldn’t they feed them?

Hunter: Let me get this right, boy. You’re saying that we should be feeding starving deer – instead of killing them? But…

Boy: Is it true, Wise Hunter, that deer-car accidents have more than tripled over the past 30 years?

Hunter: Well, uh, yeah.

Boy: But I thought hunters killed deer in order to reduce the herd so deer-car accidents would decrease.

Hunter: Well, uh, you sure ask a lot of questions, boy.

Boy: O Wise Hunter, how come the Department of Natural Resources always promotes the killing of animals?

Hunter: Well, just between you and me, the hunting community and the DNR are allies. You know, real good buddies.

Boy: You mean most of the people who work for the DNR – hunt?

Hunter: Yes, of course, boy. And those fees from the hunting licenses – around 90 percent of that money goes toward the hiring of DNR officers and the marketing of programs to recruit young people, like yourself, into the hunting community.

Boy: What about the commission that oversees the DNR in Michigan?

Hunter: You mean, the Natural Resources Commission?

Boy: Yes, Wise Hunter.

Hunter: Well, uh, eight of the nine commissioners ‘live to hunt and hunt to live!’

Boy: Ohhh. You mean, people who hunt make decisions about the fate of wild animals?

Hunter: Now, now, boy. You just keep that bit of information to yourself.

Boy: Would hunters ever try to conserve some of the land if they couldn’t hunt on it?

Hunter: Let me get this right, boy. You mean, we should just conserve some of the land and some of the animals that live on that land for the heck of it – with no killing. Uh, that would be a pretty kind gesture of humanity.

Boy: I know, Wise Hunter, I know.

Hunter: Well, uhhh…

Boy: O Wise Hunter, how can I help advance the, uh, sport of hunting?

Hunter: Tell people to have compassion for hunters.

Boy: You mean, tell people to have compassion for those who have no compassion?

Hunter: Yes, boy.

Boy: But, uh, Wise Hunter, these things you say make no sense.

Hunter: I know, boy, I know. But if we say these things enough, the public will eventually believe us and then they will make sense.

Boy: Ohhh!


Watch The Best Speech You Will Ever Hear – An extraordinary presentation on veganism by Gary Yourofsky