Wild Animal Ownership Limited in WV

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This is not a pet.

PawsUpPaws Up!
To The West Virginia legislature for passing the Dangerous Wild Animals Act.

According to a news story, “The West Virginia legislature has passed a bill that would prohibit the possession of dangerous wild animals in the state.” Under this bill, future ownership of wild animals, such as wild cats, bears, primates, venomous and constrictor snakes, and alligators, would be prohibited. The legislation has been sent to Governor Tomblin for his signature.

Take Action: West Virginia residents, contact your governor and urge him to sign the Dangerous Wild Animals Act into law. Residents of other states, make sure your state has adequate laws to protect its citizens against the unregulated ownership of wild animals.

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New Jersey on Verge of Banning Wild Animals in Circuses

If passed, New Jersey bill A 4088 would penalize those exhibiting bears, elephants, lions, and tigers in circuses throughout the state.

If passed, New Jersey bill A 4088 would penalize those exhibiting bears, elephants, lions, and tigers in circuses throughout the state.

A bill before the New Jersey Assembly, A 4088 , would impose a penalty for the exhibition or use in a performance of live bears, elephants, lions, and tigers in that state.

Wild and exotic animals, such as bears, elephants, lions, and tigers, do not belong in the circus. Many animals are forced to perform by the use of bullhooks, electric shocks, ropes, and other abusive tools. Many circus companies have been cited for violations of the Animal Welfare Act yet persist in forcing these wild animals to perform unnatural tricks. These animals not only face years of both physical and psychological distress, but also pose a threat to onlookers during their performances.

Last year, Greece banned the use of animals in circuses; and just recently, the British government did likewise.

New Jersey residents, contact your legislators and let them know you support A 4088, which would effectively ban the use of live bears, elephants, lions, and tigers in exhibitions and performances in your state. Residents of other states, let your legislators know you would like to see similar legislation to protect wild animals in your state.

Protect Alaska Wildlife

The National Park Service, Alaska Region, is taking action to protect wolves and their pups.

The National Park Service, Alaska Region, is taking action to protect wolves and their pups.

The state of Alaska is open to using any measure to kill bears, wolves, and coyotes to reduce the predator population so the moose and caribou populations can increase. Such measures benefit hunters only and destroy the natural balance in the Alaskan wilderness.

The National Park Service, Alaska Region, seeks to prohibit one or more of these hunting measures, which include bear baiting, killing wolves and coyotes with pups, killing bears with cubs, and shooting bears in their dens. These forms of hunting are nothing short of cruel and inhumane and should never be allowed in national preserves.

Contact the National Park Service, Alaska Region, and express your support of the agency’s actions to protect all wildlife in the state.

Joel Hard, Deputy Director
National Park Service, Alaska Region
240 W. 5th Avenue
Anchorage, AK 99501
Tele. No.: 907-644-3512

Grizzly Bears May Be Hunted Once Again

Help protect grizzly bears, say no to hunting.

Help protect grizzly bears, say no to hunting.

According to a news story, grizzly bears in the Yellowstone and Glacier National Park areas may be hunted once again. “With bear-human conflicts on the rise, wildlife managers in the Northern Rockies are laying the groundwork for trophy hunts for grizzlies in anticipation of the government lifting their threatened species status.”

Killing wildlife for sport is inherently cruel and uncivilized. Hunting disrupts migration and hibernation patterns. It decimates animal family units and degrades habitat. The oft-stated reason for hunting is to control animals who have wandered into human spaces. In reality, it is we who have created what is perceived to be an overpopulation of some species by taking away their natural habitat to build roads, homes, shopping centers.

Send a polite note to the director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service requesting his agency reconsider allowing hunting of grizzly bears when their threatened status is lifted.

Daniel M. Ashe, Director
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
1849 C Street, NW
Washington, DC 20240

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Bears Need Protection

Bears used for bile farming suffer from painful wounds in tiny cages.

Hawaii is one of only a few states where the commercial trade of bear bile and bear products is unrestricted. However, the state legislature has before it two bills (HB 2296 and SB 2232) that would “prohibit the purchase, sale, transportation, and delivery of any product, item, or substance containing, labeled, or advertised as containing bear gallbladders or bile.”

To obtain bear bile, bears are locked in cages the size of their own bodies and their bile is drained through a painful procedure. It is sold for use in traditional Asian medicine. Some bears are kept caged for up to 25 years. Bear bile farmers often mutilate the bears by breaking their teeth and pulling out their claws, so the farmers won’t be harmed when approaching the bear cages. In addition, some farmers amputate one or two paws from live bears to sell to restaurants.

Bears show their distress and suffering by banging their heads against the cage bars, gnawing on the bars, and at times tearing the flesh from their paws and arms. The sores bleed, resulting in serious infection. Bears are usually milked twice a day, before feeding, when more bile is produced. They moan and writhe in pain and clutch their stomachs as the bile drains from their bodies. Sometimes the bears try to pull out the catheters. Those who do are immobilized in an iron corset.

Hawaii residents, contact your legislators and urge them to pass this important legislation. Ask that they be among other state legislators who believe such practices are inhumane.

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Kentucky, Don’t Allow Bear Hunting with Dogs

Hunting with dogs is bad news for both bears and dogs.

The Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources may allow hunters to use dogs when hunting bears in future seasons. Hunting dogs track and chase a bear for hours at a time until the exhausted animal flees up a tree. The cornered bear is then easily picked off by gun-wielding hunters on the ground. The dogs give hunters a unfair advantage in killing bears. Also, the long chase stresses and exhausts bears. Animals who the hunters decide to pass over may continue to suffer the physical effects of the chase long after the hunter goes home. Mothers and cubs risk being separated as they flee hunters’ dogs; cubs who cannot find their mothers eventually starve. The dogs may also be at risk of serious harm. While they can suffer exhaustion just as the bears do, they also may face a bear that chooses to face his or her pursuers rather than run. Bears are large and dangerous with both powerful jaws and sharp claws. A dog is no match for an angry, stressed bear.

Kentucky residents should write the commissioner and ask him to reject this proposal. Residents of other states should check their laws and work to make this cruel practice illegal.

Dr. Jonathan W. Gassett
Commissioner
Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources
#1 Sportsman’s Lane
Frankfort, KY 40601
Tele. No.: 800-858-1549
Email: info.center@ky.gov

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Victory for Yellowstone Grizzly Bears

Paws Up!

To the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, for striking down the 2007 decision by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to remove the Yellowstone grizzly bear from Endangered Species Act protection.

A recent ruling by a US federal court will restore endangered species protection for grizzly bears in Yellowstone National Park. In its decision, the court cited a surge in infestations by beetles as a cause of declining numbers of whitebark pine, a staple food source for the bears. The increase in parasitic beetles has been tied to global warming, as warmer temperatures during winter months have enabled the beetles to survive seasonal die-off, allowing them to inflict greater and more widespread damage to the trees. The association with global warming makes this the second such protection enacted in recognition of the effects of climate change, after the polar bear. The panel of judges pointed out that loss of whitebark pine trees in areas of higher elevation within the national park would inevitably force bears to forage into more populous areas and create tensions with people and livestock.

Take Action: Write to the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals and applaud them for reinstating important protections for the Yellowstone grizzly, and request the court to continue efforts towards protecting other wildlife. Write the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and urge the service to list the whitebark pine as an endangered species under the Endangered Species Act, which is an issue currently under annual review.

The Honorable Sidney R. Thomas
U.S. Courts for the Ninth Circuit
P.O. Box 193939
San Francisco, CA 94119-3939
Tele. No.: 415 355-8800

Gary Frazer
Assistant Director
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Endangered Species Program
4401 N. Fairfax Drive, Room 420
Arlington, VA 22203

Sources:
The LA Times
Reuters

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