The North American Director of the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW), Jeff Flocken, has issued an urgent plea for people to contact their Congress members urging them to save Alaska’s wildlife and public lands; which are being threatened by a new bill that may be voted in less than 24 hours.
The bill, referred to as S.J. Res. 18 in the Senate and H.J. Res. 69 in the House of Representatives, would reverse a vital rule that protects wildlife from cruel hunting and trapping practices in Alaska’s national wildlife refuges.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) issued the Alaska national wildlife refuge (NWR) rule in 2016, with IFAW’s support, to protect native wildlife.
If overturned, bears, wolves and other iconic species in Alaska would be put in extreme danger.
Alaska’s national wildlife refuges are home to some of our country’s most captivating species,” noted Flocken. “We must not let these protected lands be turned into cruel kill zones.”
While the Alaska NWR rule did not outlaw hunting completely, it did make specific inhumane and ecologically indefensible hunting practices against the law.
If H.J. Res. 69 / S.J. Res. 18 passes, these cruel practices will then be legal. Among the practices that are at risk of being reinstated on Alaska’s national wildlife refuges include; the killing of coyote, bear, and wolf mothers and their pups in their dens; the use of steel-jawed leghold traps and wire neck snares to trap and kill grizzly bears; enabling aircraft to chase and gun down grizzly bears; and baiting and luring bears to areas where hunters are waiting to kill them.
“No animal should have to suffer on public lands that are set aside for their protection,” concluded Flocken.
Photo Credit: Alaska Bear Tours