California to become the first state to ban the sale and manufacture of fur

Gov. Gavin Newsom also signed a bill barring most animals from circus performances.

Forest service revokes grazing permit, fines man who killed a wolf with a shovel

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

By KSL.com Staff, KSL.com | Posted – Jul 11th, 2019 @ 12:16pm

SALT LAKE CITY — The southwest regional forester with the U.S. Department of Agriculture has decided to revoke a grazing permit from Craig Theissen in the Canyon del Buey area near Datil, New Mexico, in addition to fines charged by federal courts.

Thiessen originally pleaded guilty to the killing of a young Mexican wolf through intentionally trapping and bludgeoning it with a shovel in 2015 on public lands, according to Thiessen’s court documents, in which he pleaded guilty. In explanation, Thiessen said that he had caught the wolf in a leg hold trap on his grazing allotment and killed it because he was worried that if he didn’t hit it with the shovel it would kill him as soon as he released it.

“I knew the animal I caught in the leg hold trap was a Mexican gray wolf because it wore a tracking collar affixed to all Mexican gray wolves in the area,” Thiessen explained in the court documents. Further, he acknowledged that Mexican gray wolves are a threatened species.

The U.S. Forest Service has said that failing to comply with federal laws protecting wildlife, especially with those protected by the Endangered Species Act, gives the Southwest regional forester the authorization to revoke a person’s grazing permits, according to the press release. The case was submitted for review by Calvin N. Joyner, the regional forester.

Joyner gave his official decision on the appeal on July 2nd, deciding to revoke Theissen’s grazing permit. He added that this is a situation where the cancellation is appropriate, as Thiessen “admitted to taking an illegal action and violating federal law. He pleaded guilty and he was convicted by a federal court. His conviction is a violation of the grazing permit.”

Joyner added in his official decision that the Endangered Species Act states that criminal conviction under that statute should result in the immediate cancellation of a grazing permit.

“When ranchers violate federal law or break the terms of their grazing permits, the forest service is absolutely right to revoke their permission to graze on public land,” Erik Molvar, executive director of Western Watersheds Project, said in the press release. “Mr. Thiessen’s actions violated one of our bedrock environmental laws, shocked and horrified members of the public who want to see wolves recovered, and dealt a blow to New Mexico’s wild [wolf] population.”

Theissen’s livestock will need to be removed from the Canyon del Buey area by the end of August.

Sign the petition to save our whales

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Sign the petition to save our whales

For years the octopus-trapping ropes set up in False Bay have led to a number of marine animals, whales in particular, getting entangled and killed. The recent death of a trapped Bryde’s whale just days after a humpback calf was trapped in the same ropes has pushed the public over the edge.

Members of the community took to social media to share their outrage over the incident and have joined together to see that something is done about these needless and preventable deaths.

An official petition has been created to raise awareness around the harm caused by octopus traps as well as develop safer conditions for marine life.

“We request an immediate moratorium [ban] on all octopus trapping in the False Bay area until such time as stakeholders and concerned citizens are consulted and can agree on a safe operating standard/procedure for the use of traps used in the octopus trapping fishing industry and that the Department uses this period of Moratorium to gather much-needed information on stock levels and the impact of octopus trap fishing on the environment,” the petition reads.

The Bryde’s whale carcass floating on the water’s surface. The whale died after it got caught in octopus-trapping ropes.

For years permits for octopus trapping have been casually issued, and these traps have lead to numerous entanglements and deaths of marine animals.

The community feels the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry has approved a number of permits without proper consideration or updated data.

Octopus traps consist of long ropes tied to buoys that float just above the water surface, and are not only a danger to whales but also to dolphins, boats and ships.

The Bryde’s whale carcass was hoisted ashore.

False Bay is home to the South African Navy and octopus traps also often endanger those on board boats in the bay, as the traps no longer include sonar reflectors or lights as they once did.

If a submarine accidentally catches one of the ropes in its propellers, a dire situation could develop.

Recently two whales were caught in the same octopus trap near Millers Point on June 8 and 10, leading to the death of one of them.

The carcass of the Bryde’s whale being towed into the harbour.

The creators of the petition, dubbed “Save our whales: Stop Octopus Trapping in False Bay, Cape Town”, are imploring the Honourable Minister to place an immediate ban on all trapping in the False Bay Area until a safer operating procedure can be put in place. A safer procedure would include compulsory 24-hour monitoring at sea of octopus traps and sufficient visible signalling on the traps’ buoys to avoid endangering any more marine or human life.

The community hopes that the department will also take time to assess the current stock levels and update any information they may need to make educated decision when issuing permits.

Act now to save whales in False Bay by signing the petition here. 

Also Read: Whale caught in octopus trap dies

Picture: Allison Thomson/Facebook

New Poll: New York City Voters Reject Fur

An overwhelming majority of NYC voters support banning the sale of fur apparel in the city, according to the results of a newly released poll<https://friendsofanimals.org/news/poll-shows-majority-of-new-york-city-voters-support-banning-fur-sales/>.

The poll, conducted by Mason-Dixon Polling and Research earlier this month, found that 75 percent of respondents support a citywide law to prohibit the sale of fur apparel. The results show widespread support for legislation introduced by City Council Speaker Corey Johnson – Intro 1476<https://legistar.council.nyc.gov/LegislationDetail.aspx?ID=3903503&GUID=EBE55293-8737-4620-945A-308ADC3A23DC&Options=&Search=> – that would ban fur apparel sales in the city. The Council’s Committee on Consumer Affairs and Business Licensing is holding a hearing on the bill Wednesday.

“The results show that New York City needs to take action to catch up to what is clearly society’s sentiment, that cruelty is not fashionable,” said Friends of Animals President Priscilla Feral. “NYC can be the ultimate fashion forward role model by passing this legislation. Showing compassion for animals, and all sentient beings, is one of the purest expressions of our humanity.”
Friends of Animals has joined with FurFreeNYC,<https://www.furfreenyc.com/blog/coalition-statement-of-support-for-intro-1476-a-bill-to-prohibit-the-sale-of-fur-apparel-in-new-york-city> a coalition of public interest organizations, to support the fur sales ban legislation. FoA will be showing support for the bill at a Wednesday rally at noon at City Hall and testifying at the hearing as well.

The poll showed that about two-thirds of voters surveyed in every borough supported the ban.

In a statement Monday, Feral noted there has been widespread misinformation about the fur ban bill circulating by opponents. The bill prohibits the sale of any fur or fur apparel including any skin in whole or part with hair, fleece or fibers attached. It does not restrict or prevent residents in any way from wearing fur apparel they have already purchased. The bill does not ban leather; it has exemption for fur worn as a matter of religious custom and for used fur.

Additionally, while opponents contend fur is environmentally sustainable, the fur industry likes to ignore studies that have found real fur to be the most harmful of all fabrics. The production of real fur is significantly more harmful than other types of fabric in 17 out of 18 areas including climate change, in part because of chemicals used to prevent the skins from decomposing and decomposing of mink feces, according to a study by CE Delft. Increasingly, faux fur manufacturers and fashion houses are using innovative, sustainable fabrics.

“The fur industry is trying to divert attention and scare the public,” said Feral. “But New York City residents understand the issue and want to see an end to the cruelty.”
***
Friends of Animals, an international animal protection organization founded in New York in 1957 and headquartered in Darien, CT, advocates for the rights of animals, free-living and domestic around the world. It has been a decades-long leader in the anti-fur movement. Friends of Animals is proud to be a woman-founded and led organization.

Fran Silverman

Letter on The reality of trapping

A suggestion for recreational trappers to help people understand their sport: have interactive activities this Saturday at the Wild N.H. event in Concord.

Set up a demo area (fallen log, etc.) where kids can suggest where to put a trap and bait. Say for a fox or coyote. Then let a dog loose near the trap and see if the setup works. If the dog steps on the trap, its screams of pain and fear would bring people running – instant audience.

The trappers could then show the kids how to bludgeon the dog to death without damaging its coat. Or, at this family event, show how today’s traps allow the release of a trapped animal with little injury. Let the dog go, and point out: no broken bones, no blood, just a slight limp. No need to mention the dog’s broken teeth from its frantic biting at the trap.

No one should cause this much pain to animals as recreation. Some trapping is necessary – usually targeted at individuals. And set for a quick kill, not for hours in a trap. Manage predator populations? Not unless you measure population size and increase trapping when numbers are high, decrease it when low.

Note: What I describe above is not going to happen at Wild N.H. Day. There will be many fun and interesting exhibits. Come and bring the kids. But know that the table of beautiful furs set up by the trappers rests on a dark, cruel reality.

Concord

Morrissey Launches Protest Against Canada Goose Ahead of Canadian Tour

Morrissey Launches Protest Against Canada Goose Ahead of Canadian Tour

Morrissey is just days away from starting his Canadian tour, but he’s now taking aim at one of the country’s best known brands, Canada Goose, and urging Canadians to join his protest against the company.

The divisive Smiths singer has joined forces with PETA to call on the Canadian clothing brand to stop using fur and feathers in its products. In a newly posted open letter, Morrissey states that will be gathering fans’ signatures during the tour for a petition against Canada Goose. He then aims to deliver this to CEO Dani Reiss at the end of his Canadian tour.

“I’m writing to urge Canada Goose to act more like its namesake (e.g., smart, brave, and willing to fly off in a new direction) by making the bold ethical choice to remove coyote fur and down feathers from its parkas,” Morrissey begins in his letter.

“Canada Goose has almost singlehandedly revived the cruel trapping industry, in which animals can suffer for days and try to gnaw off their ensnared limbs before the trapper eventually returns to bludgeon them to death. No hood adornment is worth that. And geese are confined to cramped cages and trucked hundreds of miles to slaughter in all weather conditions before they’re hung upside down and their throats are slit—often while they’re still conscious — so that their feathers can be stuffed into (and poke out of) jackets.”

He adds: “I’d be the first to celebrate a cruelty-free Canada Goose coat by wearing one proudly. Until then, I’ll be collecting signatures during my Canadian tour calling for Canada Goose to stop killing animals for coats.”

Of course, this isn’t the first time Moz has taken aim at Canadian business practices. In fact, he hasn’t stepped foot on Canadian soil since launching protests against the country’s seal-clubbing policies more than a decade ago.

As previously reported, Morrissey will also be embarking on Canadian tour this weekend with a pair of concerts in Vancouver. You can see his entire Canadian tour schedule over here.

Morrissey’s new album California Son is due out on May 24 via his BMGimprint Etienne.

Fish and Game trips on wolf trapping

Imagine a 10-year-old girl in tears when she wasn’t allowed to speak against wolf trapping after sitting for two hours in an Idaho Fish and Game-hosted meeting in Hailey on Feb. 19. Imagine how she felt when she was told that she could go to Boise to speak to the Fish and Game Commission on March 12. But how could she when it was on a school night? The room was packed with other concerned Blaine County citizens, but no one was allowed to speak. Apparently, this type of meeting by Fish and Game doesn’t allow public comment.

After years of respecting local values of coexistence with wolves, why is the Idaho Fish and Game Commission trampling on those values? Something has radically changed? For the first time, the commission wants to open wolf trapping on private lands in Blaine County. How does this reflect on our new Gov. Brad Little, who seems a moderate voice on the environment?

Whatever the Fish and Game rationale, wolf trapping in Blaine County ignores 12 years of collaboration with the Wood River Wolf Project, a program that deters wolf depredation of livestock through nonlethal means. Blaine County and the city of Ketchum have supported this program because coexistence with wolves expresses core citizen values of wildlife protection. The Wood River Women’s Foundation, a 380-member powerhouse, gave significant grants in 2017 and 2018 to support this important effort. Our community has spoken often and clearly.

Idaho Fish and Game has clearly tripped on wolf trapping on private lands in Blaine County. We can easily debunk the commission’s argument that trapping regulations should be uniform statewide. Why would these be uniform when most other types of hunting are regulated on an area-by-area basis?

With 1.6 million acres of land in Blaine County, there is often no distinction between public and private lands in remote canyons and valleys. Trapping anywhere puts the public at risk and ignores our hard work to coexist with wolves and all wildlife.

I urge you to contact Gov. Brad Little and the Fish and Game Commission against this proposal.

Sarah Michael, Blaine County


Sarah Michael was a Blaine County commissioner from 2001-2008.

Colorado wildlife officials trap, kill 5 mountain lions

RIFLE, Colo. — Wildlife officials have trapped and killed five mountain lions near a Colorado town after residents reported aggressive behavior by the predators.

The Rifle Citizen Telegram reports Colorado Parks and Wildlife officials trapped and killed the mountain lions last month in the Glenwood Springs area.

Area wildlife manager Perry Will says four of the animals were believed to be a mother and her grown kittens.

Video footage from a west Glenwood Springs residence showed the four mountain lions stalking the neighborhood.

Will says each of the lions killed last month were believed to be at least a year old and over 80 pounds.

Will says euthanizing the cats is often the only option.

He says officials are not actively targeting anymore lions at this time.

Crossing the Line — Bobcat Hunting

http://kokomoperspective.com/politics/indiana/crossing-the-line-bobcat-hunting/article_99a51b29-8734-54cd-8499-fa9455854f28.html

  • Dan Carden dan.carden@nwi.com, 317-637-9078
A bobcat at the Washington Park Zoo in Michigan City.Provided

Crossing the line separating Indiana and Illinois sometimes means dealing with different laws and customs. Readers are asked to share ideas for this weekly feature. This week: Bobcat hunting.

+1  

Bobcats in Indiana
Indiana DNR

Any self-aware bobcats who relocated to Indiana after Illinois established a bobcat hunting season two years ago soon might find it in their best interest to move again.

The Indiana Department of Natural Resources has proposed creating a short-term bobcat hunting season that would allow licensed Hoosiers to hunt or trap one bobcat a year until a to-be-determined statewide quota is reached.

According to the DNR, bobcats primarily live in southern Indiana and are not a nuisance or causing damage. Rather, the hunting season is intended to manage the bobcat population and permit the harvesting of their fur.

Illinois hunters and trappers claimed 318 bobcats during the 2017-18 season that ended Feb. 15. They also salvaged 40 road kill bobcats, according to state records.

That’s up from the 141 bobcats that hunters and trappers took in 2016-17, the first year Illinois offered a bobcat season since the crepuscular carnivores were removed in 1999 from the state’s threatened species list.

This article originally ran on nwitimes.com.

Man pleads “not guilty” in unlawful trapping case

    http://www.moabsunnews.com/news/article_106ddd58-390b-11e8-b82c-73c40bd9e593.html

    Wildlife officials allege that suspect involved in new violation

    Posted: Thursday, April 5, 2018 1:53 pm | Updated: 1:57 pm, Thu Apr 5, 2018.

    The alleged owner of the trap that killed a local teenager’s dog near Hunter Canyon this past February has been charged in connection with the incident, and is scheduled to appear at a bench trial on Tuesday, April 11.

    Timothy Shawn Gardner of Moab has pleaded “not guilty” to six misdemeanor charges of “unlawful methods of trapping.” He could not be reached for comment.

    Moab high school student Ali Hirt was hiking with her two dogs and some friends on Feb. 10 when her Australian shepherd/pit bull mix, Stoic, was caught in the trap in Kane Creek and died within minutes. The incident was reported in the Feb. 22-28, 2018, edition of the Moab Sun News.

    Utah Division of Wildlife Resources (DWR) officials set up surveillance cameras in the area and allegedly identified the owner of the trap as Gardner.

    Gardner has a license to trap, and was allegedly operating during open trapping season in an area where trapping is legal. But DWR officials said the trap in question was not labeled with the required registration number and was not modified to protect non-targeted wildlife in accordance with state regulations.

    “Each trapping device must have a permanent and legible trap registration number,” Utah DWR Lt. Ben Wolford said. “This is the same number found on a trap registration license. A person is only assigned one number, and it must be on the device. None of the traps had this number attached.”

    The state requires that traps of the type Gardner allegedly used, set within 100 yards of tributaries to the Colorado River in the Moab area, must be modified to protect river otters. The modification involves relocating a trigger mechanism so that otters, which have a slimmer profile than beavers, can navigate the trap without activating the trigger. Otters are listed as a sensitive species in Utah, and efforts have been made over several decades to increase their population distribution in the state and to protect them from accidental trapping, aside from “nuisance” individuals.

    However, the modification to protect otters would not necessarily have saved Stoic, Wolford said.

    “We don’t know where the dog actually was hit with that trigger mechanism,” he said. “He may or may not have hit it, if it was modified.”

    If Gardner is convicted, he will likely face fines. Wolford said the amount could be anywhere from $100 to thousands of dollars, depending on what the prosecuting and defending attorneys agree upon.

    Since the incident near Hunter Canyon, Gardner has allegedly been found to be involved in another trapping violation, in another location.

    A local property owner, whose name is not being publicly released, found an unauthorized box trap on his land and contacted DWR officials. This trap is a style used for live capture of a variety of animals, including bobcats, skunks and raccoons.

    Gardner allegedly approached the scene while a DWR officer was investigating.

    “He (Gardner) came up the road,” Wolford said, “And my officer made contact with him and found out it was his trap.”

    This incident is still under separate investigation, and so far, no official charges have been filed. Wolford expects that charges will be filed shortly, and may include trespassing and failure to properly label the trap with the license registration number.

    Hirt said she is disappointed to hear that Gardner will plead “not guilty” to the misdemeanor offenses stemming from the Feb. 10 incident.

    “Those were definitely his traps, and he definitely knew what he was doing when he put them so close to the trail,” she said. “I’d have a lot more respect for him if he’d pleaded guilty and owned up for the terrible thing that he did.”

    Even if Gardner’s traps had been set according to current regulations, loose dogs in popular hiking areas could still be at risk from wildlife traps. Hirt acknowledged this.

    “(It’s) something that I feel like should be addressed,” she said. “I think that they should have a restriction on how close you can set those traps in popular areas, especially right near a trailhead like that.”

    Hirt, whose grandfather is a trapper, has initiated discussions of the issue on Facebook.

    “I would like to see something done,” she said. “It could have been so avoidable, which is terrible.”

    When Stoic was killed, he left behind his brother, Neko.

    “He was really sad and lonely in the house,” Hirt said of the surviving dog. “So we went and got a rescue pup. His name is Pumbaa, and he’s been really good. They get along really well.”

    Hirt said she is glad that Neko has a companion again, though the family is still sad about the loss of their dog.

    Wolford has said that the DWR encourages trappers to avoid areas popular with other recreationists, but there is no enforcement. Trappers are free to operate on public lands.

    Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Public Affairs Specialist Lisa Bryant has said that the agency tries to inform the public about wildlife traps, and encourages dog owners to leash their pets. But BLM officials cannot realistically place signs in every area where traps may be set, and there are no existing restrictions on trap placement in high-use areas.

    Moab resident Frank Darcey is an organizer for the currently dormant Moab Sportsman’s Club. The club is not specifically associated with trapping, but Darcey is familiar with trapping techniques and some local trappers.

    Darcey referred to the death of Hirt’s dog as “a terribly unfortunate accident.” However, he also feels that owners should leash their dogs in areas where there is a risk of traps.

    “Nobody in the Sportsman’s Club wants to see anybody’s pet harmed, or in this case, killed,” Darcey said. “It’s also incumbent upon the pet owners to control their pets.”

    “All trappers should be aware of the regulations,” Darcey added. “If you’re going to be trapping, you need to abide by all of the rules and regulations.”