Recreational mayhem

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, April 1997:

Zimbabwe environment
and tourist minister Chen
Chimuten-gwende said after discussions
on March 8 with French environment
minister Corrine Lepage
that France has eased its former
strong opposition to resumed traffic
in elephant products, and may favor
“controlled” trade in ivory and hunting
trophies in June, when
Zimbabwe hosts this year’s triennial
meeting of the Convention on
International Trade in Engangered
Species. French prime minister
Alain Juppe is an avid hunter.


Hunters called for lynching
Alaskan wildlife consultant
Gordon Haber, who often works
for Friends of Animals, when on
March 5 he released a wolf, previously
radio-collared by the National
Park Service, who had spent at least
three days caught by the foot and
neck in a snare within the Yukon
Charley National Preserve.
Explained FoA president Priscilla
Feral, “Haber was doing wolf/prey
research funded by a coalition of
animal protection and environmental
groups. Efforts by members of the
coalition to enlist officials from the
National Park Service and the
Alaska Department of Fish and
Game to free the wolf failed when
neither agency showed up at the
scene as agreed. The wolf, and four
caribou found dead in snares at the
same site, are the latest known victims
of intensive privately funded
saturation snaring under the Caribou
Calf Protection Program, aimed at
drastically reducing wolf numbers to
increase the caribou available to
human hunters. Paid for by both
individual hunters and hunting
groups, such as the Foundation for
North American Wild Sheep, the
program pays trappers a bounty,” of
about double the usual pelt value for
wolves killed, “and led last year to
dramatically increased killing of
wolves,” Feral said. Saturation
snaring, encouraged by the Alaska
Department of Fish and Game, “is
an ecosystem nightmare,” added
Alaska Wildlife Alliance executive
director Cindy Lowry. “This is the
Alaskan equivalent of high-seas
driftnetting.”
Russian prime minister
Viktor Chernomyrdin on February
10 confirmed that on January 11 the
governor of Yaroslavl had a helicopter
pad bulldozed near the village
of Rybinsk, and a mile of road built
from the pad to a mother bear’s den,
so that Chernomyrdin could fly in to
“hunt” with his entourage and a dog
pack the next morning. Chernomyrdin
shot the first cub the dogs
drove out. The governor shot the
second. Both repeatedly shot the
mother, but required help to kill her.
The newspapers Ogonyok, Novaya
Gazeta, and The St. Petersburg
Times denounced the killing; staff
at Ogonyok, partially owned by
Russian Security Council deputy
secretary Boris Berezovsky, were
then told they wouldn’t be paid for
two months, but the retaliation was
reportedly rescinded after that hit the
media too. Chernomyrdin defended
himself by reminding critics that
Vladimir Lenin shot cage-reared
birds and rabbits, Leonid Brezhnev
“hunted” boars tied to trees, and
KGB divers hooked fish on Nikita
Krushchev’s line.
Ohio State Inspector
General Richard Ward has reportedly
commenced an inquiry into the
Ohio Department of Natural
Resources’ practice of diverting
state income tax checkoff donations
made for “conservation of endangered
species and other wildlife”
into paying administrative salaries,
including the salaries of bureaucrats
whose work is chiefly promoting
hunting, fishing, and trapping.
Alberta hunters blamed
wolves for a 12% decline in moose
over the past few years––but after a
three-year undercover sting nabbed
29 alleged poachers in December
1995, 27 of whom were eventually
convicted, the moose population
recovered, Alberta Environmental
Protection spokespersons recently
told the Edmonton Sun.
Timber baron Don R.
Johnson, of Spray, Oregon,
reportedly got just a warning on
February 18, after Oregon State
Police and USDA Animal Damage
Control staff caught him strafing
coyotes from a helicopter.
The New York Department
of Environmental Conservation,
subsidizing and advertising
the fur trade, has issued felt hats
with muskrat trim to its 275 fishand-game
officers, at cost of
$9,350. While New York City is the
center of the U.S. fur industry, the
order was placed with Crown Cap
Ltd. of Canada, because no New
York firm submitted a bid.

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