SCI Weekly news
Posted 22 December 2006 - 08:11 AM
In the Crosshairs -- e-news from SCI 's Washington Office
The latest and hottest news on federal, state, and international
political and conservation events
December 22, 2006
South Africa Provides a Peek at the New Hunting Regulations
RSA provided a glimpse of one portion of the new hunting regulations on December 12th. ?This follows a three year period of consultation between government, civil society, wild life industry as well as animal welfare groups in South Africa, and follows... reports and scientific reasoning from a Panel of Experts appointed in January 2005 by Minister Marthinus van Schalkwyk.? The regulations are expected to be published officially at the end of March.
?This regulation specifically prohibits the following activities, as far as listed large predators are concerned, which were allowed under permit previously: hunting of listed large predators in a controlled environment, that is within an enclosure which facilities intensive human intervention; hunting of listed large predators under the influence of immobilizing or tranquilizing agent; and hunting of listed large predators released in an area adjacent to a holding facility.? The term ?listed large predators? means lions and similar animals.
?The Professional Hunters Association of South Africa (PHASA) estimates the revenue generated from so-called canned hunting could be in excess of 2.5 billion rand (US$356.9 million) annually, with top money paid for the Big Five -- lions, leopards, buffalo, elephant and rhinoceros.?
The announcement can be found at http://www.environment.gov.za/ . Once SCI has reviewed the final document in March, we will provide additional information. (Source: Reuters & RSA Dep?t. of Environment & Tourism)
Hunting Wolves by 2008?
According to the Idaho Statesmen, hunters could be hunting wolves 12 months after federal officials delist wolves from the endangered species list in Idaho, Montana and Wyoming, thus turning over management of the predators to the states. The FWS plan to delist wolves hinges, in part, on a compromise with Wyoming. The Idaho Statesmen reports, however, that the FWS plans to delist wolves in Idaho and Montana even if no compromise can be reached with Wyoming. The delisting will pave the way for wolf hunting within the continental U.S. for the first time in many years. ?Idaho Fish and Game commissioners said they plan to establish regulations for hunting wolves that will be in place when delisting is final,? allowing hunters to buy a special tag. ?Idaho has more than 650 wolves, twice the minimum number the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said was necessary for preserving the viability of the species in the Rocky Mountain region.?
SCI and DU Hand Animal Rights Group a Defeat in Mute Swan Case
A Federal Court of Appeals recently ruled in favor of the Federal Government, Safari Club International, and Ducks Unlimited in an appeal brought by the anti-hunting group Fund for Animals concerning the State of Maryland?s ability to manage the invasive mute swan. The Fund had sued the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service claiming that it violated the Migratory Bird Treaty Act by removing the mute swan from the list of birds protected by that Act. If the bird had stayed on this list, it would have made it difficult for states to address overpopulation problems. This bird is highly destructive and aggressive. For example, in Maryland, it consumes inordinate quantities of submerged aquatic vegetation vital to the health of Chesapeake Bay and drives out native waterfowl. SCI and DU successfully argued that a law passed by Congress in 2004 clearly confirmed that the Treaty Act does not protect non-native birds, such as the mute swan. The Court rejected the ?Plaintiffs? creative attempt to weave ambiguity out of clarity.? This case should end several years of legal efforts by the Fund to wrest control of wildlife management over this species from Maryland. The case also helps ensure that the other States will be able to manage mute swans and other non-native birds (many of which are also destructive) without having to comply with the Migratory Bird Treaty Act.
U.N. Animal Welfare Issues
?Animal welfare will...move one step closer to an unprecedented place on the United Nations agenda when representatives from more than 130 developing countries receive an official briefing on a global initiative supported by the World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA). The initiative aims to establish a United Nations Universal Declaration on Animal Welfare that would achieve global recognition of animals as sentient beings, capable of experiencing pain and suffering, and animal welfare as an important aspect of the social development of nations worldwide.? SCI is involved in hunting issues at the U.N. There is no word yet on what this new release means for SCI but we will keep you posted.
Florida Black Bear Update
SCI recently filed papers in Federal court in Washington D.C. supporting the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's decision not to list the Florida Black Bear under the Endangered Species Act. Animal rights groups have long worked to force the FWS to list the species. So far, they have been unsuccessful. The science shows several viable populations in Florida and Georgia and sufficient secure habitat. Listing under the ESA would end the annual hunting of the Florida black bear in Georgia and prevent Florida from re-establishing a season. SCI is joined in the case by the U.S. Sportsmen's Alliance Foundation and the Central Florida Bear Hunters Association. A final decision is expected later in the year.
SCI to Help Defend Trapping Case in Maine
SCI will be filing papers to seek amicus status to help defend against a lawsuit that challenges Maine?s trapping program. The lawsuit, recently filed in District Court in Maine, challenges trapping in Canada lynx, bald eagle, and gray wolf range, although no known population of gray wolves exists in Maine. As it has done in two similar lawsuit pending in Minnesota Federal court, SCI will seek ?amici curiae? (friend of the court) status, allowing it to file legal briefs in the case. Among other things, SCI will argue to prevent the Court from determining that the trapping program ?takes? (i.e., hurts or kills) the three species, for example, in traps set for other animals. This case could create an adverse legal precedent that could be used to attack hunting and other sporting activities in other states. SCI will keep you posted on the status of this case.
HAPPY HOLIDAYS and a HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL!
Posted 22 December 2006 - 09:43 PM
?Idaho has more than 650 wolves, twice the minimum number the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said was necessary for preserving the viability of the species in the Rocky Mountain region.?
Well I bet after this report comes out it won't be anytime before wolf hunts will be legal but hard to get your hands on a tag.
Edited by Rowdy Yates, 22 December 2006 - 09:44 PM.
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