Rabbit Advocacy Animal Matters
Coexisting with Wildlife from Born Free USA united with Animal Protection Institute
As human development progressively encroaches on wildlife habitat, conflicts between wildlife and people increase. Each year, in response to such actual or perceived conflicts, people turn to lethal control efforts to kill "offending" animals. In addition to being inhumane, lethal control efforts are generally doomed to fail, as they don't address the root causes of conflicts or provide long-lasting solutions.
The cornerstone of Born Free USA united with API's "Coexisting with Wildlife" campaign is the promotion of educated coexistence with our wild neighbors. Through advocacy at a variety of levels, we use our expertise to take aim at the needless killing of wildlife. We protect animals by educating people about the benefits of peaceful coexistence, providing tools and guidance for nonlethal conflict management, and publicizing solutions that can prevent conflicts from arising in the first place. We also use legislative and regulatory channels to speak for the wild animals who cannot speak for themselves.
Our "Coexisting with Wildlife" campaigns focus on two main areas: "nuisance" wildlife control, which is primarily an issue in urban and suburban areas, and lethal predator control, which occurs more in rural or agricultural regions. We are a recognized leader in the fight against both of these cruel and unnecessary practices.
Protecting Urban Wildlife
"Nuisance" wildlife control — in which people hire wildlife control operators to trap and kill animals in an attempt to mitigate conflicts — is a lucrative, growing, and largely unregulated industry with little accountability or even basic humane animal care and treatment standards.
"Animal damage" or "pest" control trappers — also known as Wildlife Control Operators, or WCOs — number in the tens of thousands nationwide. As urban sprawl increases, so do interactions between humans and wild animals. This has led to greater demand for WCO services, despite the fact that many conflicts between people and wildlife can be mitigated by simple changes in human behavior.
Individuals and businesses contract with WCOs to resolve conflicts between humans and wild animals. State and federal wildlife agencies have traditionally left resolution of such conflicts to individual initiative, and allow people to hire private wildlife control businesses that typically charge a fee for wildlife removal services. Unfortunately, the emphasis by the WCO industry is often on lethal removal of animals. Many WCOs are former or current fur trappers who do urban wildlife damage control trapping on the side.
Oversight of wildlife damage control businesses has lagged behind the industry's growth. State agencies have been hesitant to regulate the business practices of an industry they see as largely commercial in nature, although the wildlife control operators affect hundreds of thousands of wild animals annually. As a result, many states have almost no regulations providing proper oversight or defining humane care and handling of wildlife impacted by this trade.
We provide communities, homeowners, and other stakeholders conflict mitigation solutions and resources that are humane and designed for the long term.
Protecting Native Carnivores
The killing of native carnivores, or "predators" to benefit private interests is big business, and one of the government's most shameful secrets.
Each year, nearly 100,000 native carnivores are killed by the federal government on public and private lands across the United States. This slaughter is carried out by the Wildlife Services program (formerly Animal Damage Control), under the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). Lethal control is conducted primarily to protect privately owned livestock grazing on public lands, and also used to ensure "game" stocks for hunters or protect corporate-owned timberlands from being damaged by bears.
The primary methods used to kill native carnivores are cruel and indiscriminate. They include poisons, steel-jaw leghold traps, strangulation neck snares, denning (the killing of coyote pups in their dens), hounding, shooting, and aerial gunning.
We are committed to using legislation, litigation, and public education to stop this wasteful and unnecessary subsidy and the inhumane methods employed to kill native carnivores. We are a recognized leader in providing solutions to coyote/predator conflicts and helped develop a ground-breaking non-lethal predator and livestock protection in Marin County, California that is receiving international recognition. We are also part of the national Coalition to End Aerial Gunning.
Comment: When the human species encroaches and destroys the habitat of wild animals they find ways to survive. Some actually thrive. This means that wildlife and human interests may come into conflict. Too often, such conflicts are addressed by killing animals — a practice known as "lethal control" or “culling.” Doesn’t sound as bad as murder. However, lethal control methods are ethically repugnant to many of us, and are also ineffective, particularly in the long term. Brutal and often non-selective, many animals suffer lingering and horrible deaths. The key to successful conflict resolution usually involves modifying human behavior and simply removing attractants. We cannot keep overpopulating ourselves and destroying the homes of other creatures with who we should be sharing this Earth.
Urban sprawl is a huge problem, and while we should be taking steps to control the procreation of the human species, we continually look to ways to eradicate so-called “pests” and worry more about our landscaping or flower beds, rather than wildlife who are just looking to survive. Recently some residents of Nanaimo have become upset with deer coming onto their property or being forced to stop their vehicles in order to avoid a collision. There were a couple of letters to the newspaper suggesting that “venison would be welcome.” Talk about your selfish, ignorant, and cold-blooded people. ( Pamela Mar & Mary Lou Nordstrom, Nanaimo)
People are more harmful to environment than deer
Re: 'Deer have become destructive pests' (Your Letters, Daily News, May 23)
Regarding letter writers and their heartless comments regarding deer populations, I have a proposal which I think is fair.
Firstly, though, I would have to say that it's more accurate to say that the human species is grossly overpopulated and that we are the ones who are "destructive pests."
Now, if you can't live in harmony with nature and the wonderful non-human species of this planet, instead of having to "relocate, cull, or bring in the cougars" for the deer, perhaps you can choose one of the aforementioned options for yourselves.
Carmina Gooch, North Vancouver
Wildlife myths and misconceptions debunked
1: If you find a fawn alone, she has been orphaned.
Comment: In Spring many people find themselves coming into contact with wild animals that may appear to need assistance. Although this is often not the case, well intended individuals may feel compelled to intervene. We can all educate ourselves as to animal behaviour, characteristics, and survival tactics of our outdoor friends through various humane societies, wildlife, and bird organizations. There is an abundance of information on the Internet that will help us coexist in a peaceful and respectful manner with nature. Remember, their lives are valuable and with human encroachment rapidly destroying their homes, we must work to keep them protected and to minimize any potential conflicts. ANIMALS MATTER!
February 1, 2013 B.C. government auctions off chance to kill a wild sheep
Auctioning right to shoot wild sheep is woolly headed
Vancouver Sun, February 8, 2013
Let’s see if I’ve got this straight. The provincial government is giving the highest bidder a chance to carry out a cold-blooded, calculated execution of a magnificent and defenceless wild mountain sheep. And it’s being justified in the name of “conservation fundraising.” Doesn’t anyone see the irony here?
I suggest solutions without bloodshed, but perhaps that’s too radical a thought.
Carmina Gooch, North Vancouver
December 12, 2015 California bighorn sheep numbers in B.C.'s Similkameen plummeting
February 5, 2016 Bighorn sheep in B.C. dying from domestic sheep pneumonia