Back to Seal Clubbing — Really?!

HERE WE GO YET AGAIN: The Canadian government has announced a MASSIVE quota of 400,000 harp seals for this year’s seal slaughter, Instead of moving forward with a federal buyout that Canadians — including many sealers — SUPPORT.

sealA federal buyout would mean rather than wasting tax money on a hunt with no market, the Canadian government can actually save money by offering to pay sealers a fair dollar amount to give up their license to kill.

An increasing number of nations are taking action by banning trade in seal products. Yet the Canadian government still authorizes the cruel slaughter of hundreds of thousands of seals each year — even using government funds to finance the purchase of seal pelts.

Each year, unimaginable suffering is inflicted on the seals, all for their pelts to be stockpiled in a warehouse — not that it would make any difference if they sold like crazy. Many Newfoundland sealers themselves support a federal sealing industry buyout.  With this plan, the seal slaughter would end, sealers would receive financial compensation, and economic alternatives would be developed.

Please ask Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper to end this revolting slaughter once and for all with a federal sealing industry buyout. Here you will find mailing address, fax and email info: http://pm.gc.ca/eng/contactpm

Sample letter below — but please personalize as much as possible!

Dear Prime Minister Harper and Honourable Ministers,

I am writing to ask for your help to end the Canadian commercial seal slaughter by implementing a federal buyout of sealing licenses.

Each year, horrible suffering is documented during the slaughter. Conscious, wounded baby seals are left to suffer in agony and impaled on metal hooks, dragged across the ice and cut open. Seal pups that have been shot and injured escape into the water where they die slowly and are never recovered. All of this often takes place before the eyes of their mothers.

Please help move Canada beyond this antiquated commercial sealing by supporting a federal sealing industry buyout. Thank you for your consideration.

THANK YOU!

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A Local Goose Family Needs Your Help

One of our members, Shelby, has brought to our attention a goose family in need of help. Mom is incubating eggs in a nest on a retaining wall outside Macy’s at Southcenter Mall in Tukwila, and Dad patrols the parking lot area below (apparently the family has chosen this ill-advised nesting site before!). goose1 goose2Shoppers, both on foot and in cars, do not expect geese and will not be watching out for them (let’s be real: even if they did, would they?). Mall security doesn’t seem to care. They WILL care, however, if you all call to show them that a single goose family is important to you. Their number is 206-246-7400, press 5 for mall security. All we are asking is that a small area, 3 parking spaces, be cordoned off to protect this family from cars and people. You might also mention that messing with nesting geese is illegal, and that geese are excellent parents who may very well be aggressive towards people who come too close, so that creating a barrier between people and geese would be a good idea all round.

THANK YOU!

And thank you Shelby — a great example of NOT WALKING ON BY.

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Help polar bears

The Senate will soon be considering a dangerous bill that, if passed, will undermine years of protection for polar bears and hurt other wild animals.

The Bipartisan Sportsmen’s Act of 2014 (S. 1996) combines several radical hunting proposals into one bill. If passed, it will benefit a small group of wealthy trophy hunters who want to import polar bear trophies from Canada–despite current laws against that! The bill would also mandate that federal agencies open up millions of acres of public lands to hunting and trapping. It would also strip the Environmental Protection Agency of its ability to protect habitat and people from lead poisoning through toxic ammunition exposure.

Act now

Please make a brief, polite phone call to your U.S. Senator urge opposition for S. 1996. Look up your senator’s phone number here. You can say: “I would like you to please vote NO on S. 1996, the Bipartisan Sportsmen’s Act of 2014.”

After making your phone call, please go to this HSUS page where you can personalize and submit the letter automatically.

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Woodland Park Zoo sued over elephant records

FOWPZEAlyne Fortgang, co-founder of Friends of Woodland Park Zoo Elephants, recently filed a lawsuit against the Woodland Park Zoo.

The suit asks the Court to declare that Woodland Park Zoo is acting as a “hybrid” pubic agency and, as such, should be subject to Washington State’s Public Disclosure Laws. This means the Zoo would have to tell us how they spend the millions of tax payer dollars we give them AND answer our questions about Bamboo, Chai and Watoto’s quality of life.

Over the past 7 years FWPZE has filed many Public Disclosure Requests with the Zoo.  The zoo has repeatedly refused to share important information about the welfare of the three elephants living there.

Woodland Park Zoo claims it isn’t subject to public disclosure requests. However, the Zoo’s operations are funded with $10.4 million taxpayer dollars and uses city-owned buildings and land at no cost.”

“Woodland Park Zoo can’t have it both ways; if it chooses to take our generous tax dollars, then it must be held accountable on how it spends our money,” said Fortgang. “I am simply asking that the Zoo be transparent with tax payers, which is why public records laws exist.”

Action:

While the suite is underway, please write a polite email asking for Bamboo, Chai and Watoto be retired to a sanctuary immediately.

Here are addresses for the Seattle City Council, King County Council and zoo management and Board. If you’ve already written, please write again and please cross post.Ed.murray@seattle.gov, Jean.Godden@seattle.gov, Sally.Bagshaw@seattle.gov, Tim.Burgess@seattle.gov, Sally.Clark@seattle.govBruce.Harrell@seattle.gov, Nick.Licata@seattle.gov, Tom.Rasmussen@seattle.gov, Mike.OBrien@seattle.gov, Kshama.Sawant@seattle.gov, larry.gossett@kingcounty.gov, kathy.lambert@kingcounty.gov, larry.phillips@kingcounty.gov, julia.patterson@kingcounty.gov,  jane.hague@kingcounty.gov, pete.vonreichbauer@kingcounty.gov, joe.mcdermott@kingcounty.gov, rod.dembowski@kingcounty.gov, reagan.dunn@kingcounty.gov, dow.constantine@kingcounty.gov,Deborah.jensen@zoo.org, Darin.Collins@zoo.org, zooinfo@zoo.org
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ASAP: Oppose Law Permitting Raccoon Torment in Georgia

In Georgia, a bill is under review which would permit the use of live raccoons for field trial competitions. Time is running out — the bill, HB423, has already been approved by the State House and has now gone to the Natural Resources Committee, where it could be discussed any day. Please help stop this Bill – if passed, hunters will be allowed to train their dogs using caged live raccoons. Every minute in confinement is already a terrifying eternity for them. In addition, they are flung high into trees or hauled across fields and bodies of water as frantic dogs give chase. They must repeatedly endure this hellish ordeal, often for hours on end, and many are badly injured or killed during the trials. Survivors risk developing chronic and contagious stress-induced disorders, which are also often fatal.

URGENT ACTION! Please contact the members of the Natural Resources Committee and urge them to oppose HB 423.

Send an email (one to all is fine) today to: ross.tolleson@senate.ga.gov; rick.jeffares@senate.ga.gov; bill.cowsert@senate.ga.gov; frank.ginn@senate.ga.gov; steve.gooch@senate.ga.gov; diana.hauser@senate.ga.gov; stevehenson@mindspring.com; jack.hill@senate.ga.gov; freddie.sims@senate.ga.gov; curt@curtthompson.com; tommie.williams@senate.ga.gov

THANK YOU ALL!
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Don’t Give Up on Wolves, Please!

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) recently stripped wolves of their Endangered Species Act protections in the Northern Rockies and Great Lakes. As a result, these states have opened trophy hunting and trapping seasons, and thousands of wolves have been mercilessly slaughtered.

The FWS has also proposed removing protections for wolves in the rest of the lower 48 states, which would lead to even more killing. Thanks to feedback from nearly A MILLION citizens and a host of conservation biologists, the FWS recently convened a new panel of experts to revisit the issue. This new panel found that the FWS relied upon ONE SINGLE — faulty — paper in deciding to remove federal protections from wolves.

A new comment period is open and the FWS needs to hear from you before March 27.  After a previous such comment period in Michigan, 10,000 pro-wolf comments were deliberately deleted; we trust that this will not happen with the Secretary of the Interior, Sally Jewell. (Sample letter/email below, but personalizing it is always a good idea!)

Dear Secretary Jewell,

I value wolves and I want to see them protected by the Endangered Species Act. Without these federal safeguards, wolves are pitted against an unfair arsenal of traps, snares, baits, hounds, and shooters who kill them from low-flying aircraft. Killing wolves puts their family packs in disarray and leaves young pups to starve.
Most Americans love wolves, and wolf-watching tourists spend millions of dollars to see them in places like Yellowstone National Park. After receiving pressure from the livestock industry and extreme groups, the government has given up on wolves and literally put them in the crosshairs before they could recover to most of their historic range. It’s quite simple: wolf populations are still recovering, and the best available science does not support their removal from the protections afforded to them by the Endangered Species Act. Please provide adequate protections for this iconic and beautiful species.

Mailing Address:
Department of the Interior
1849 C Street, N.W.
Washington DC 20240

Phone: (202) 208-3100
E-Mail: feedback@ios.doi.gov
Web: Feedback form

Your action can save a lot of lives. And a lot of suffering. Wolves are seldom killed instantly with a single clean shot. Remember hunters who shoot anything that moves; remember bowhunters and traps. Please give up 15 minutes for this. Don’t put it off.

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Please OPPOSE the SPORTSMEN’S BILLS

In Defense of AnimalsThis week, we desperately need every U.S. citizen to call and send a letter to both of your US Senators to help protect wildlife and public lands from those who enjoy killing wild animals including hunters, anglers, and trappers.

Two bills, the Bipartisan Sportsmen’s Act of 2014 (S. 1996) and the Sportsmen’s Act (S. 1335), are currently pending in the Senate, while the latter has already passed the House.

The goal of this package of bills, collectively called SHARE (Sportsmen’s Heritage and Recreation Act), is to further “sportsmen’s” interests — although we know that in fact there is nothing sporting about killing other for FUN. The bills have provisions that, if passed, would open more federal land to hunting, fishing, and trapping, allow the importation of polar bear “trophies” from Canada, interfere with the Toxic Substances Control Act and allow hunting in National Parks.

What you can do:

  1. Please send the letter below (or preferably a personalized version of it) to both of your U.S. Senators.
  2. Follow up with a call and say: “Please OPPOSE S.1996 the Bipartisan Sportsmen’s bill, S.1335 the Sportsmen’s bill, and all related bills.” That is ALL.

You can look up your US Senators here

Sample letter: I urge you to vote against S.1996 the Bipartisan Sportsmen’s bill, S.1335 and all related bills.

The overall goal of these bills is to further the interests of “sportsmen,” a minority compared to the overwhelming majority of the public who do not hunt, fish, or trap. Furthermore, these bills, if passed, would undermine provisions of existing conservation statutes, including the Marine Mammal Protection Act and the Toxic Substances Control Act. These bills would interfere with the exercise of authority by federal agencies responsible for managing federal lands and protecting public health.

By favoring the interests of a minority against those of the majority of the taxpaying public, who use public lands for nonviolent and peaceful enjoyment, these bills seek to take control of wildlife and public lands away from federal agencies and the public and hand it over to hunters, anglers, and trappers. This will not be tolerated by the majority of the public who use these lands, and who finance the protection and maintenance of them through our tax dollars.

I am strongly opposed to S. 1996, S. 1335 and all related Sportsmen’s bills, and I urge you to vote on my behalf against these bills, which would compromise existing protections for wildlife, public lands, and public health.

THANK YOU SO MUCH!  YOUR letter may be the one that tips the scales!

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Navy wants bombing and sonar permits – Act now!

The Navy is looking to get permits to continue sonar and explosives exercises in the Pacific Northwest, a controversial exercise that risks the well-being and lives of marine mammals who swim through the Navy’s training range.

The Navy is gathering comments from the public comments on its draft environmental impact statement for the testing range, which occupies parts of the Pacific Ocean from Canada to California.

Interested in speaking up? Come to a hearing:

  • Feb. 26, 5-8 pm: Oak Harbor High School, Oak Harbor, WA
  • Feb. 27, Cascade High School, Everett, WA
  • Feb. 28, North Kitsap High School, Poulsbo, WA
  • March 3, Astoria High School, Astoria, OR
  • March 4, Isaac Newton Magnet School, Newport, OR

If you can’t beat a hearing, please leave a comment on the Northwest Training and Testing site.

For more info, read the article on the KCTS website.

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Oppose Yellowstone National Park’s Bison Slaughter

We recently learned from In Defense of Animals, that Yellowstone National Park plans to slaughter 800 wild bison. bison from http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:A_bison_in_Yellowstone_National_Park.JPG

According to park spokesman Al Nash, the park is seeking “opportunities to capture any animals that move outside the park’s boundaries.”

Please help the hundreds wild bison who are being brutally hazed into traps and sent to slaughter. This killing began on February 7th, with the capture of 20 bison. The scared animals were then shipped to a slaughterhouse in Ronan, Montana. Other bison are currently being held in traps inside the park, awaiting their fate.

This is a politically motivated move by the Montana livestock industry, which has no tolerance for wildlife.

Click here to take action.

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Action Alert: Stop Washington Cougar Hound Hunting Legislation

Thanks to Exposing the Big Game and the Mountain Lion Foundation (MLF) for the info listed below. Check out their websites for more info.

Washington state Senators Brian Dansel and Don Benton have coauthored a bill that would force the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) to allow trophy hunters to use hounds to kill cougars for fun.

Senate Bill 6287 states special “dangerous cougarwildlife task teams must be developed in each county [...] and a kill season with the aid of dogs must be established,” ultimately claiming they will hunt lions to protect the public and increase research on the species. WDFW and the findings of numerous research projects have shown these hunting programs don’t work, and they can actually increase cougar-human conflicts.

WDFW already has the authority to initiate special public safety hunts with the use of hounds, if needed (WAC 232-12-243). But the agency has found that teaching the public about coexistence and only killing the cats who cause problems has proven to be a more successful policy.

Allowing groups of hound hunters to kill random cougars in rural areas has not yielded any positive results and is just an excuse for hunters who want to chase cougars with a pack of dogs.

Washington sport hunters (without dogs) already shoot more than 100 lions each year. As a result, the cougar population is declining and the mean age of the cats is lower. Young cats are more likely to come into conflict with people, pets, and livestock.

How to help:

Please contact your Senator NOW (before February 18th) and urge him or her to vote against this bill!

Write a short letter or email stating why you oppose Senate Bill 6287. Even a phone call will help. You can use this contact form if you’re short on time (but personal letters are best). If possible, please also send MLF a copy of your letter and cc emails to info@mountainlion.org.

Talking points:

  • Senate Bill 6287 is a redundant authorization of public safety hound hunts — WDFW already has this tool at its discretion if they think it’s necessary to use hounds to help kill cougars.
  • Senate Bill 6287 would force the Department of Fish and Wildlife to implement a wildlife killing program that they know is unsuccessful and potentially dangerous.  The legislation is not backed by the Department, scientific research, or the majority of citizens in Washington.
  • Washington residents have repeatedly shown we do not support the use of hounds to track, tree, and kill wildlife for fun. It’s a cruel and outdated unsportsmanlike hobby that needs to remain illegal.
  • This bill would allow hound hunters to kill cougars that have posed no threat to people, which may actually increase the percentage of problem cougars in our state.

Thank for taking the time to help protect Washington’s cougars!

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