Cheers and Jeers

Cheers and Jeers

We have three jeers today for Donald Trump Sr. and avid hunter sons Eric and Don Trump Jr. While they don’t support selling federal lands to individual states like Sen. Cruz, their ideas for the government agencies responsible for protecting federal public lands would be a nightmare for wildlife.

When it comes to hunters’ rights, Donald Trump, Sr. didn’t waffle in an interview with Petersen’s Hunting, stating that a US Fish and Wildlife director appointed by him would “ideally be a hunter.”

Don, Jr., said, “In a Trump administration, avid hunters and anglers, who are proven conservationists, will be in the leadership of the USFWS. That solves lots of problems. Federal biologists think they are smarter than state biologists and you end up with a mess.”

When asked if his father was were elected president, how much of a role would he have in advising on policy in terms of hunter’s rights, Second Amendment issues and public land usage, Don Jr. said, “As it relates to hunting and fishing rights and outdoor rights, I’m going to insert myself in it. The biggest family joke that we all had over the holidays was that the only job in government that I would actually want would be in the Department of the Interior.

“We are going to do whatever we can to make sure that any kind of Trump presidency is going to be the best since Theodore Roosevelt for outdoorsmen, for hunters, for our public lands, and for this country as it relates to anything in the great outdoors.”

Sorry Don, Jr., we don’t think that joke is funny! Nor are we impressed that you and Eric, well-heeled trophy hunters, pose for photos in Africa and elsewhere holding the bloody remains of leopards, crocodiles, Dall sheep, wildebeests, giraffes and other animals. We’ve seen Eric with a sawed-off elephant’s tail in one hand and a knife in the other, standing next to an elephant’s body. What’s best for the great outdoors is not turning our America’s woodlands into war zones so that Trump’s children find excitement.

Hunting and habitat manipulation on federal public lands and wildlife refuges is a violation of public trust, and do not reflect the will of the majority. Hunters represent a miniscule amount of Americans, and our government agencies charged with wildlife protection and conservation should be a reflection of the non-hunting majority in America. We agree that these state and federal agencies need to be revamped—but in such a way that their funds do not come from the sale of hunting permits and licenses and taxes on guns and ammo—a total conflict of interest.

Friends of Animals insists that our wildlife refuges be restored as inviolate sanctuaries, which allow every species there to undergo the test of nature to guarantee its survival over time, not the will of a hunting minority. The country can’t afford an administration lead by NRA enthusiasts who set their children loose on holding government slots where the order of the day is decimating wildlife for warped egotistical pleasures.

 


We have a big #jeer this morning for the recent Supreme Court decision that favored an Alaskan hunter who argued the federal government overstepped its authority in banning hovercraft, which he was using to help him shoot moose on National Park Service land in the northernmost U.S. state.

 

The court, in a unanimous decision written by Chief Justice John Roberts, handed a narrow victory to the hunter, John Sturgeon, in his legal challenge to the U.S. government’s power to prevent him from riding his hovercraft on a river through a federal preserve to reach remote moose-hunting grounds.

 

The high court stopped short of deciding some major questions raised in the case, such as whether state or Native corporation-owned land, or private in-holdings within Alaska-based national parks are subject to Park Service authority. The court leaves those arguments to the lower courts for consideration as necessary, Roberts wrote.

 

 

This is another example of hunters, who are in the minority of the population, being granted special privileges and being catered to by state and federal governments so that they can continue to slaughter wildlife. We dedicated our winter edition of Action Line magazine to discussing this war on wildlife and how if the non-hunting majority makes its voice heard, our woodlands will no longer be war zones. Check out our full coverage on our website.  


We have a cheer today for some much needed good news about African elephants. Recently The New York Times reported that an elephant from Kenya had crossed into war torn Somalia and survived. Somalia used to be home to thousands of elephants, but they were wiped out during the 1980s and 90s as the country descended into chaos.

 

Researchers say the big bull, Morgan, who had been fitted with a GPS radio collar, was found to have travelled more than 130 miles, most likely looking for a mate. He spent a day and a half in Somalia before returning to Kenya. Morgan’s unusual migration provides anecdotal evidence that a small elephant population still exists in Somalia.

 

Scientists were extremely impressed with Morgan’s uncanny sense of direction and self-preservation. He moved mostly by night and rested in think bush during the day. “This is extreme behavior adapted to survive the worst known predator on Earth: man,” said scientist Iain Douglas-Hamilton.


We are disgusted by the news that Canada is set to move forward with plans to extend their horrifyingly cruel seal hunt this year despite the fact that the commercial seal industry is failing miserably.

 

It was announced last year that Canada will spend $150,000 CND to promote its northern sealing industry and that it is the first installation of the five-year, $5.7 million Certification and Market Access Program for Seals. Despite efforts by protesters from around the globe, the current Prime Minister of Canada has not made any efforts to prevent the plan from going forward.

 

There are currently only a few hundred active seal killers- down from an estimated 6,000 in 2006 – and in 2014 the total value of commercial seal products coming out of Canada was just $500,000. Yet, according to recently obtained government documents, the hunt is costing Canadians $2 million more than that in annual tax expenditures. This includes $1 million for icebreakers, $475,000 for helicopters and $375,000 in overtime for those monitoring the hunt. It does not take into account the millions more in marketing dollars and subsidies the Canadian and local governments devote to keeping the hunt going.

 

The seal slaughter is also subsidized by Canada’s taxpayers. Rather than find alternative livelihoods for unemployed people in economically depressed areas, the politicians give them the seals, as though seals were renewable resources, and as though sacrificing them is a socially responsible action to provide gainful employment.

 

It should also be noted that the seal-killing industry has been banned in Europe and  the U.S. has forbidden importation and sale of seal skins since 1972, leaving Canada as the last large nation to continue this horrifying practice.

 

Furthermore, Canada is throwing money into the dying, outdated and horrifically cruel fur industry which has no place in modern society. The young seals are in fact killed on the ice when they are only weeks old to feed the diminishing demand of furriers due to the fact that the pup’s coats only stay white for a short time before changing color.Seals are not resources or commodities to be traded. They’re entitled to be left alone. We deplore the seal hunt for the suffering and death it imposes on every single seal.

– See more at: https://secure.friendsofanimals.org/news/2016/march/cheers-and-jeers-1#sthash.hiizkEbm.dpuf