Killing wildlife for fun & profit

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, June 1994:

Austrian scientist Dr. Martin
Balluch, now at Cambridge University,
reportedly may be deported from Britain
because he opposes fox hunting. Letters of
protest may be sent to the Right Honorable
Michael Howard, Home Secretary, Home
Office, 50 Queen Anne’s Gate, London
SW1H 9AT, United Kingdom.
The winter of 1993-1994 was
among the harshest on record, forcing deer
to yard up sooner and stay yarded longer––but
early field reports indicate that few deer
starved despite hunters’ claims of deer over-
population. Wild turkeys were hard-hit, how-
eve––and may decline, warns National Wild
Turkey Federation representative Tom Baptie
of Castleton, Vermont, because undigested
grain from cow manure is a staple of their
winter diet, but anti-pollution laws now
restrict where and when manure can be spread.

“Panic time” has come for the
U.S. and Canadian trapped fur export
trade, Fur Age Weekly blared on April 25,
because it hasn’t developed “humane” trap
standards acceptable to the International
Standards Organization and the European
Union. Thus the EU will halt most trapped fur
imports on January 1, 1995. The fur trade
hopes to either delay the halt or lift the
humane trapping requirement. The U.S.
exported $40 million worth of trapped fur in
1993, down from $176 million worth in 1987.
The Alliance for Animals
Legislative Fund has introduced a bill, AB
745, to ban leghold traps in Wisconsin. As
of 1991-1992, Wisconsin had 3,151 trappers,
who pelted 345,472 animals––down from
14,688 trappers who pelted more than a mil-
lion animals in 1987-1988. About 8% of U.S.
trapped fur comes from Wisconsin.
“Most competent shooters will
average approximately two wounded birds
for each bird bagged. The best that can be
hoped for is one wounded for every two
bagged,” computer expert Geoff Russell
wrote in the February/March/April 1994 issue
of the Australian magazine Animals Today,
after an exhaustive study of shot patterns. “No
amount of education can change the basic
physics and mechanics of shotgun operation,
which is the principal cause of wounding.”
Primm Spring Pictures Inc. has
begun filming When The Eagle Cries,
described as “a feature film set in the
Tennessee mountains,” which exposes “the
savagery of wildlife poaching.”
An international firefighting
squad kept a month-long brushfire on Isabela
Island in the Galapagos away from a colony of
up to 150 rare giant tortoises––but found the
blaze was set by poachers to cover their tracks
after they killed at least 42 tortoises. Tortoise-
killing is illegal in the Galapagos, but persists
due to the widespread belief that tortoise meat
has medicinal value. Officials are now moving
another 400 of the tortoises off Isabel Island,
to a protected reserve on a nearby island.
“You can’t buy a box turtle legally
in New York state, but you can ship thou-
sands of them out of Kennedy Airport,”
objects New York Turtle and Tortoise Society
president Suzanne Dohm. The U.S. exported
28,583 box turtles in 1992 and 26,411 in 1993,
mostly to Europe for sale as pets––where up to
90% of those who survive the trip die prema-
turely. “This trade is not sustainable,” says
Wildlife Conservation Society herpetologist
Dr. Michael W. Klemens. Snappers and red
sliders, also taken from the U.S. for sale in
Europe, have meanwhile become an ecologi-
cal hazard in some areas after going feral.
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