The fact that most people knew it was coming, does not make it any less horrific. Yesterday, it was confirmed, that President Trump signed legislation on Monday legalizing extreme killing methods of wolves and bears in Alaska.
As previously reported by WAN, per Defenders of Wildlife, by overturning an Obama administration regulation that put restrictions on how these animals could be killed, Alaska national wildlife refuges can now allow such atrocities as the killing of wolves and pups during the spring and summer “denning” season; gunning down mother bears and their cubs; baiting and snaring bears and their cubs; and enabling trophy hunters to use aircraft to chase grizzly bears and wolves before landing to shoot them.
Representatives from many animal welfare and conservation organizations are speaking out in disgust.
“This isn’t hunting – it’s slaughter,” government affairs director for the Center for Biological Diversity Brett Hartl said in a statement. “Killing wolves and bears in this cruel, unsportsmanlike fashion is outrageous, especially in national wildlife refuges that belong to all Americans.”
In a Press Release issued earlier this week, Emily Jeffers, an attorney with the Center for Biological Diversity, concurred that “Because of Trump and Republicans in Congress, wolves and bears in Alaska will now be subject to cruel, unsportsmanlike killings, in violation of the very purpose of the wildlife refuge system.”
“These rules were repealed for one reason,” she said noting that it is solely “to give the state of Alaska freedom to kill predators on wildlife refuges.”
According to BuzzFeed, at the time of the initial regulation that was imposed in August 2016, former Fish and Wildlife Service Director Dan Ashe, also deemed such hunting practices to be “a withering attack on bears and wolves that is wholly at odds with America’s long tradition of ethical, sportsmanlike, fair-chase hunting.”
Alli Harvey, the Alaska representative with the Sierra Club’s Our Wild America campaign, agreed stating that “Targeting cubs with mothers, baiting, and other extreme hunting measures promoted by this resolution have no place on our public lands.”
Congressman Don Young of Alaska, who introduced the egregious resolution, disagrees as is reflected in a previously statement released when the Senate passed the resolution along a party-line vote.
“Not only was it a massive jurisdictional power grab, it clearly undermined the laws passed by Congress to protect Alaska’s authority to manage fish and wildlife upon all our lands,” he said. “Alaskans take the management of our lands and wildlife extremely serious.”
“Wildlife refuges are supposed to be a haven for biological diversity, not a place where wolf pups can be killed in their dens,” said Jeffers noting that the Center, which along with its allies, is intervening on behalf of the National Park Service to defend the challenged regulations. “Once again, this administration is ignoring science and listening only to narrow special interests.”
Nearly 78 million acres of land in Alaska are national wildlife refuges.
Source: Center for Biological Diversity, WAN, BuzzFeed
Photo Credits: howlingforjustice, High Country News, First People US
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