Wildlife https://hslf.org/ en House takes a bite out of live wildlife markets, wildlife trade with amendments to National Defense Authorization Act https://hslf.org/blog/2021/09/house-takes-bite-out-live-wildlife-markets-wildlife-trade-amendments-national-0 <span>House takes a bite out of live wildlife markets, wildlife trade with amendments to National Defense Authorization Act</span> <span><span lang="" about="/user/135" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">kblocher@hslf.org</span></span> <span>Fri, 09/24/2021 - 13:12</span> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><p>This nation cannot move fast enough to reduce the pandemic threats associated with live wildlife markets and the trade in live wildlife. That’s why we’re delighted that the House voted late yesterday in a winning bipartisan vote of 362-59 to include key elements of the Preventing Future Pandemics Act (H.R. 151) within its annual National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) package, which ultimately passed 316-113. The Department of Defense and other agencies have long recognized zoonotic disease and wildlife trafficking as matters of national security, and it’s only right that the Congress follow suit.</p> <p>Yesterday’s vote means that two pieces of the Preventing Future Pandemics Act—via amendments — will be considered in the House-Senate negotiations on the final NDAA. The first would set U.S. foreign policy and provide direction and resources to eliminate the most dangerous (and cruel) flashpoints for the spread and mutation of zoonotic diseases, live wildlife markets and the trade in terrestrial wildlife for human consumption. The provision would leverage American leadership in the global community to stop the terrible risk-laden conditions of the live wildlife trade that permit these deadly viruses to be introduced.</p> <p>The second would authorize significant new resources for a U.S. Fish &amp; Wildlife Service program to combat wildlife trafficking, increasing the program’s capacity fivefold and authorizing $150 million per year through 2030.</p> <p>In our successful lobbying efforts, we demonstrated that these two amendments rightfully belong under the umbrella of national security. In 2020, 190 Navy ships registered COVID-19 cases (some 65 percent of the fleet) with nearly 75,000 infected service members. Even after appropriate disease control measures were adopted, U.S. fleets were forced to make do with reduced maintenance and longer deployments, impairing military readiness.</p> <p>The House vote comes just after the release of a United Nations report that identifies the human consumption of terrestrial wild animals as a potent source of viral pathogens like SARS, Monkeypox, Ebola, and COVID-19. The UN report focused on the links between zoonotic diseases and activities that bring humans, wildlife and domestic animals into increasingly close and intense contact, including habitat encroachment, transportation of wildlife to markets, and the wildlife trade.</p> <p>As the fourth most lucrative illegal industry in the world—right behind illegal human, drug, and arms trafficking—the illicit trade in live wildlife contributes to increased global instability through zoonotic disease spread and the financing and metastasis of other organized criminal activities. This helped to strengthen the position of Representatives Mike Quigley, D-Ill., Fred Upton, R-Mich., Ro Khanna, D-Calif., and Brian Fitzpatrick, R-Pa.in their effort to add the amendments. They were united in their view that the NDAA is a fitting place for Congress to set the bar high on national action to stave off future pandemics tied to live wildlife markets and the destabilizing trade in wildlife worldwide.</p> <p>“We must prevent the next pandemic before it can start. Our economy, our physical and mental well-being, and our very livelihoods depend on it,” said Representative Quigley. “The COVID-19 pandemic has significantly impacted not only our individual health but the safety of our entire nation. By including key components of the Preventing Future Pandemics Act in the NDAA, we ensure that our military’s readiness never again faces the threat of a global health crisis. The next pandemic can be stopped, and this is a vital first step.”</p> <p>We also helped rally support for another amendment included in the House NDAA, one that would provide the Department of Commerce with the necessary authority to address pressing threats to marine mammals like the North Atlantic right whale and humpback whale, including climate change, ship strikes, and amplified noise in ocean ecosystems. With respect to ship strikes, the amendment would ensure that the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration identifies areas presenting high risks of vessel collisions with marine mammals, develops vessel restrictions in those areas, and creates a near real-time monitoring and mitigation program to reduce the risk of collisions. The champions of the measure were Representatives Rick Larsen, D-Wash., Raúl Grijalva, D-Ariz., Derek Kilmer, D-Wash., Marilyn Strickland, D-Wash., Suzan DelBene, D-Wash., Alan Lowenthal, D-Calif., and Kim Schrier, D-Wash.</p> <p>Now the final NDAA will need to be worked out between the House and Senate, with deliberations expected in late October. We’ll be there to make the argument that the United States should seize this opportunity to demonstrate enlightened leadership in reducing the global pandemic threat, the scourge of wildlife trafficking and the reckless illegal trade in terrestrial wildlife for human consumption, as well as to provide urgent protections to imperiled whales.</p> <p>The wildlife markets and the larger wildlife trade are riddled with cruelties, and by bringing an end to them we can bring relief to millions of animals who are their victims. But we would also be doing ourselves great good by forever stopping these practices that put us all at risk. Given the devastation, turmoil and upheaval that COVID-19 has caused throughout the world for the last year and a half, there’s no time to lose.</p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-blog-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden tags field--items"> <a href="/taxonomy/term/34" hreflang="en">Federal Legislation</a> <a href="/taxonomy/term/29" hreflang="en">In the News</a> <a href="/taxonomy/term/231" hreflang="en">Issue Areas</a> <a href="/taxonomy/term/30" hreflang="en">Wildlife</a> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-type field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field--item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/176" hreflang="en">Blog</a></div> Fri, 24 Sep 2021 13:12:10 +0000 kblocher@hslf.org 21805 at https://hslf.org Wolves in the Northern Rockies move closer to getting protections they desperately need https://hslf.org/blog/2021/09/wolves-northern-rockies-move-closer-getting-protections-they-desperately-need <span>Wolves in the Northern Rockies move closer to getting protections they desperately need</span> <span><span lang="" about="/user/135" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">kblocher@hslf.org</span></span> <span>Wed, 09/22/2021 - 19:42</span> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><p><em>By Sara Amundson and Kitty Block</em></p> <p><a href="https://apnews.com/article/donald-trump-montana-environment-and-nature-billings-wolves-e568682bdc46c3a4fe8c5dc9fa774a3a">Wolves in the Northern Rockies may warrant federal protection under the Endangered Species Act,</a> the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced last week, largely because of extreme wolf-killing laws recently passed in Idaho and Montana. The agency’s decision comes in response to a <a href="https://hslf.org/blog/2021/05/federal-government-must-protect-gray-wolves-its-too-late">legal petition the Humane Society of the United States and the Humane Society Legislative Fund filed</a>, in coalition with other conservation organizations, in May.</p> <p>This promising progress gives us some hope that much-needed protections are on their way for these imperiled animals. The FWS will now begin a formal review process—collecting scientific and other information about the threats these wolves face—to determine whether to extend endangered species protections to wolves in western states. <a href="https://hslf.org/press-release/2021/05/endangered-species-act-protection-sought-wolves-northern-rockies">The no-holds-barred wolf slaughter sanctioned by Idaho and Montana</a> make clear that this federal protection is essential to gray wolves’ survival in the region.</p> <p>Wolves in these states have been subjected to <a href="https://blog.humanesociety.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/Wolf-timeline-9-22-21.pdf">increasingly aggressive killing since they lost their federal protections in 2011</a>. In May, <a href="https://hslf.org/blog/2021/04/idaho-lawmakers-verge-sanctioning-carnage-90-states-wolves">Idaho’s legislature passed a law</a> that allows the state to hire private contractors to kill up to 90% of the state’s wolf population. The law also allows individual <a href="https://www.humanesociety.org/all-our-fights/banning-trophy-hunting">trophy hunters</a> and trappers to kill as many wolves as they want using the most egregious methods, running them down with all-terrain vehicles and snowmobiles and hunting them using bait and hounds. Wolf trapping is also now permitted year-round on private lands. And outside of the extreme suffering this causes ensnared wolves, such indiscriminate methods also put pets and other wild animals at risk of getting maimed or killed by traps.</p> <p>Recent changes in Montana’s laws mean that about 85% of the state’s wolves are now in danger of being killed. New laws there allow the use of strangulation snares and the use of bait to hunt and trap wolves, as well as permitting night hunting. Another law brings back what is essentially a wolf bounty system that incentivizes hunters to kill wolves by reimbursing them for their costs. And while the state previously set strict quotas in areas bordering Yellowstone National Park and Glacier National Park to limit the killing of the wolves who live in and around these iconic natural landmarks, these quotas have now been eliminated. In short, Idaho and Montana have now joined Wyoming in allowing what amounts to unlimited and unregulated killing of wolves.</p> <p>While the FWS’s determination that these destructive new laws may require federal intervention is an important step, it’s not fast enough. Wolves in Idaho and Montana are under attack right now. Idaho’s new law took effect on July 1, and Montana’s general wolf hunting season began on September 15. Wolves simply cannot afford to suffer through months of wanton slaughter while the FWS completes its review. That’s why <a href="https://ecos.fws.gov/docs/tess/petition/992.pdf">our petition</a> asked the agency to immediately restore endangered species protections to wolves in the region on an emergency basis.</p> <p>We’re not alone in our view that emergency protection is necessary to ensure gray wolves’ survival. <a href="https://apnews.com/article/wisconsin-environment-native-americans-animals-wolves-79650d1ae6003b9444fae65e68276a29">Dozens of American Indian tribes asked the Biden administration to restore protections on an emergency basis</a> in the face of these virulently anti-wolf policies. Similarly, <a href="https://www.kmvt.com/2021/06/17/more-than-50-conservation-groups-want-federal-protections-restored-protect-wolves/">more than 50 conservation organizations sent a letter in support of our petition</a>, urging the FWS to immediately protect wolves. And even Dan Ashe—who originally supported delisting wolves from endangered species protections back when he was President Obama’s FWS director—<a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2021/08/03/wolves-idaho-montana-cruelty-conservation/">said Idaho and Montana’s laws amount to  “ecocide.”</a> He too is calling on the agency he once led to restore endangered species protections on an emergency basis.</p> <p>Disappointingly, the FWS hasn’t yet heeded these calls. But we won’t give up in our fight for these iconic animals. We’ll continue to push the agency to immediately protect these wolves before it’s too late.</p> <p>You can <a href="https://hslf.org/action-center/wolves-need-protection-now">take action for gray wolves in the Northern Rockies</a> by asking Department of the Interior Secretary Deb Haaland to immediately extend Endangered Species Act protections to these animals.</p> <p><em>Kitty Block is President and CEO of the Humane Society of the United States.</em></p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-blog-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden tags field--items"> <a href="/taxonomy/term/30" hreflang="en">Wildlife</a> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-type field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field--item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/176" hreflang="en">Blog</a></div> Wed, 22 Sep 2021 19:42:12 +0000 kblocher@hslf.org 21803 at https://hslf.org Wolves need protection now https://hslf.org/action-center/wolves-need-protection-now <span>Wolves need protection now</span> <span><span lang="" about="/user/135" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">kblocher@hslf.org</span></span> <span>Wed, 09/22/2021 - 18:23</span> <div class="field field--name-field-everyaction-embed field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"> <link rel='preload' href='https://d3rse9xjbp8270.cloudfront.net/at.js' as='script' crossorigin='anonymous'> <link rel='preload' href='https://d3rse9xjbp8270.cloudfront.net/at.min.css' as='style'> <script type='text/javascript' src='https://d3rse9xjbp8270.cloudfront.net/at.js' crossorigin='anonymous'></script> <div class="ngp-form" data-form-url="https://advocator.ngpvan.com/https%3a%2f%2fsecure.everyaction.com%2fv1%2fForms%2fiTG52xY0m0ePq2A0tL7-cw2/ngpForm" data-fastaction-endpoint="https://fastaction.ngpvan.com" data-inline-errors="true" data-fastaction-nologin="true" data-databag-endpoint="https://profile.ngpvan.com" data-databag="everybody" data-mobile-autofocus="false"> </div></div> Wed, 22 Sep 2021 18:23:15 +0000 kblocher@hslf.org 21802 at https://hslf.org Wolves in Northern Rockies one step closer to endangered species protection https://hslf.org/press-release/2021/09/wolves-northern-rockies-one-step-closer-endangered-species-protection <span>Wolves in Northern Rockies one step closer to endangered species protection</span> <span><span lang="" about="/user/135" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">kblocher@hslf.org</span></span> <span>Wed, 09/15/2021 - 21:21</span> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><div id="content-inner"> <div class="page-title">Wolves in Northern Rockies one step closer to endangered species protection</div> <h4 class="subhead minor"><em>Aggressive New Wolf-Killing Measures in Idaho, Montana Prompt Federal Review of Wolves' Status</em></h4> <p>VICTOR, Idaho (September 15, 2021)—The <a href="https://www.fws.gov/news/ShowNews.cfm?ref=service-to-initiate-status-review-of-gray-wolf-in-the-western-us-&amp;_ID=36998">U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced</a> today that wolves in the Northern Rockies may warrant protection under the Endangered Species Act. The decision comes in response to an <a href="https://hslf.org/press-release/2021/05/endangered-species-act-protection-sought-wolves-northern-rockies">emergency petition</a> from the Center for Biological Diversity, the Humane Society of the United States, Humane Society Legislative Fund and Sierra Club.</p> <p>Today’s decision begins a formal status review of gray wolves in across the western United States. While the Fish and Wildlife Service did not immediately restore wolf protection on an emergency basis as the petition requested, the agency determined that protecting the species in the northern Rockies or across the western United States may be warranted based largely on new laws in Idaho and Montana that authorize the widespread killing of wolves.</p> <p>Numerous Tribal nations are also <a href="https://513451e9-fb0d-4ca8-8a55-f385bf65d985.filesusr.com/ugd/da04a3_dd7cadb4364f430cb8f0e63fa2b86f43.pdf">calling for the emergency relisting of gray wolves</a> and for the Biden administration to honor treaty and trust obligations that require consultation with the Tribes on protection and management of gray wolves.</p> <p>“I’m hopeful that wolves will eventually get the protection they deserve, but the Fish and Wildlife Service should have stopped the wolf-killing now,” said Andrea Zaccardi, a senior attorney at the Center for Biological Diversity. “Anti-wolf policies in Idaho and Montana could wipe out wolves and erase decades of wolf recovery. We’re glad that federal officials have started a review, but wolves are under the gun now so they need protection right away.”</p> <p>“We’re glad the Service has taken this important first step toward restoring the federal protections that Idaho and Montana’s wolves desperately need, but it isn’t enough,” said Nicholas Arrivo, managing attorney for wildlife at the Humane Society of the United States. “Wolves simply cannot afford to be exposed to months of cruel and wanton slaughter while the Service completes its review. Without an emergency relisting now, there may not be much of a population left to protect when the process is complete.”</p> <p>“Today’s decision by the Service is a step toward recognizing serious new threats to wolves from hostile state management policies, but it falls short in granting the emergency protection that wolves need right now,” said Bonnie Rice, senior representative with Sierra Club’s Our Wild America campaign. “The goal of Montana and Idaho’s extreme new laws is to decimate wolf populations in the northern Rockies. It makes no sense to allow wolves to be driven back to the brink of extinction and reverse over 40 years of wolf recovery efforts.”</p> <p>“Today’s announcement from the Biden administration to follow the science showing that gray wolves in the Northern Rockies need federal protections as mandated under the Endangered Species Act is the right decision,” said Tracie Letterman, vice president of federal affairs at the Humane Society Legislative Fund. “We are hopeful this will lead to full protections for this important population, and in the meantime strongly encourage the administration to protect these vulnerable wolves through an emergency relisting.”</p> <p>Idaho’s new laws took effect July 1. Montana’s general wolf-hunting season began today. Trapping for wolves in Montana will begin two weeks earlier this year, on Nov. 29, and extend two weeks later to March 15 as a result of the new law.</p> <p>Idaho’s new law could wipe out up to 90% of the state’s wolf population. It calls for private contractors to kill wolves, allows hunters and trappers to kill an unlimited number of wolves, and permits trapping year-round on private lands across the state. People can also chase wolves with hounds or run them over with all-terrain vehicles and snowmobiles.</p> <p>Montana’s new laws risk the killing of approximately 85% of the state’s wolf population. They permit the use of strangulation snares, night hunting and bait to hunt and trap wolves. Hunters and trappers can kill up to 10 wolves each and can be reimbursed for their expenses killing wolves through a new bounty program. While Montana previously set strict quotas outside Yellowstone and Glacier National Parks to limit killing of park wolves, those quotas have been eliminated.</p> <p>The Endangered Species Act requires that the Service make a final decision within one year of the May 26, 2021, petition.</p> <p><strong>Media Contacts</strong></p> <ul> <li><strong>HSUS/HSLF: Madeline Bove,</strong> (213) 248-1548, <a href="mailto:mbove@humanesociety.org">mbove@humanesociety.org</a></li> <li><strong>Center for Biological Diversity: Andrea Zaccardi,</strong> (303) 854-7748, <a href="mailto:azaccardi@biologicaldiversity.org">azaccardi@biologicaldiversity.org</a></li> <li><strong>Sierra Club: Bonnie Rice,</strong> (406) 640-2857, <a href="mailto:bonnie.rice@sierraclub.org">bonnie.rice@sierraclub.org</a></li> </ul> <p class="press-release-footer"> </p> <p style="text-align: center;">##</p> <p style="text-align: left;"><em>The Humane Society Legislative Fund is a social welfare organization incorporated under section 501(c)(4) of the Internal Revenue Code and formed in 2004 as a separate lobbying affiliate of The Humane Society of the United States. The HSLF works to pass animal protection laws at the state and federal level, to educate the public about animal protection issues, and to support humane candidates for office. Visit us on all our channels: on the web at <a href="https://hslf.org/">hslf.org</a>, on our blog at <a href="https://hslf.org/blog" target="_blank">hslf.org/blog</a>, on Facebook at <a href="https://www.facebook.com/humanelegislation" target="_blank">facebook.com/humanelegislation</a> and on Twitter at <a href="https://twitter.com/HSLegFund" target="_blank">twitter.com/HSLegFund</a>.</em></p> <p style="text-align: left;"><em>Founded in 1954, the Humane Society of the United States and its affiliates around the globe <a href="https://www.humanesociety.org/all-our-fights?credit=HSLF_boilerplate" target="_blank">fight the big fights</a> to end suffering for all animals. Together with millions of supporters, the HSUS takes on puppy mills, factory farms, trophy hunts, animal testing and other cruel industries, and together with its affiliates, rescues and provides direct care for over 100,000 animals every year. The HSUS works on reforming corporate policy, improving and enforcing laws and elevating public awareness on animal issues. More at <a href="http://humanesociety.org">humanesociety.org</a>. </em></p> <p style="text-align: left;"><em>Subscribe to Kitty Block’s blog, <a href="https://blog.humanesociety.org/">A Humane World</a>. Follow the HSUS Media Relations department on <a href="https://twitter.com/HSUSNews" target="_blank">Twitter</a>. Read the award-winning <a href="https://www.humanesociety.org/all-animals-magazine">All Animals</a> magazine. Listen to the <a href="https://www.humanesociety.org/humane-voices">Humane Voices Podcast</a>.</em></p> <p style="text-align: left;"><em>The Center for Biological Diversity is a national, nonprofit conservation organization with more than 1.7 million members and online activists dedicated to the protection of endangered species and wild places.</em></p> <p style="text-align: left;"><em>The Sierra Club is America’s largest and most influential grassroots environmental organization, with more than 3.5 million members and supporters. In addition to protecting every person's right to get outdoors and access the healing power of nature, the Sierra Club works to promote clean energy, safeguard the health of our communities, protect wildlife, and preserve our remaining wild places through grassroots activism, public education, lobbying, and legal action. For more information, visit <a href="http://www.sierraclub.org/">www.sierraclub.org</a>.</em></p> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-blog-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden tags field--items"> <a href="/taxonomy/term/30" hreflang="en">Wildlife</a> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-type field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field--item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/177" hreflang="en">Press Release</a></div> Wed, 15 Sep 2021 21:21:21 +0000 kblocher@hslf.org 21795 at https://hslf.org From “pet” cougars to flooding victims, animal rescue requires preparation https://hslf.org/blog/2021/08/pet-cougars-flooding-victims-animal-rescue-requires-preparation <span>From “pet” cougars to flooding victims, animal rescue requires preparation</span> <span><span lang="" about="/user/135" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">kblocher@hslf.org</span></span> <span>Tue, 08/31/2021 - 16:36</span> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><p><em>By Sara Amundson and Kitty Block</em></p> <p>On Sunday, Hurricane Ida slammed into the Gulf Coast, 16 years to the day after Hurricane Katrina’s landfall. Our Animal Rescue and Response team moved toward the strike zone, ready to assist animals in need. Bringing together supplies, equipment and personnel to support emergency response agencies in their relief efforts, we operate within a web of agreements that bind us to disaster response entities at all levels. It’s critical for us to be ready to go the moment authorities ask for our help.</p> <p>Hurricane Ida grew in intensity quickly, but as it formed and approached, we worked with Greater Good Charities to co-sponsor a flight taking homeless shelter animals in Louisiana out of the storm’s path before it hit. We brought the animals to the San Diego Humane Society, a member of our shelter and rescue partner program. Such pre-storm response helps ensure the safety of animals awaiting adoption in threatened areas while freeing up space, shelter staff members and resources that organizations require to respond to their community’s needs during and after a storm—which often includes providing a temporary home for pets while their guardians secure a safe living situation.</p> <p>When it comes to disaster, everyone knows to expect the unexpected. Those who rescue animals do more than simply expect it—they plan for it. They train, they mobilize resources, they collaborate. That critical preparation is the foundation for the flexibility that each new crisis requires.</p> <p>The preparation principle has shaped the work of our Animal Rescue and Response team, which responds to hurricanes, wildfires, floods, and other dangerous situations, along with cases of cruelty and endangerment involving individual animals. The HSUS has been doing such work since the 1970s, and over the past five years alone, <a href="https://www.humanesociety.org/news/safe-hands">we’ve deployed well over 100 times</a>.</p> <p>The past week has seen our teams helping in critical situations far beyond the Gulf Coast. In Tennessee, <a href="https://www.humanesociety.org/news/disaster-preparedness-plans-become-increasingly-critical-worldwide">our team provided supplies and caring hands</a> to help the animals and the overwhelmed staff at the Waverly Animal Shelter who were affected by deadly floods. In New York City, the team helped a cougar being kept as a “pet.” We received a request to help remove an 11-month-old, approximately 80-pound, female cougar from a home in the Bronx. That required a complex collaboration with authorities, including the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, the New York City Police Department, and the Bronx Zoo. Our team was at the scene when the homeowner surrendered the cougar, helped coordinate her safe removal and ensured her safe transportation to the Bronx Zoo, where she received excellent care from veterinarians and caregivers. The cougar is now on her way to Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge, an accredited sanctuary in Arkansas, where she will receive lifelong care in an environment more suited to her needs. (Her situation was <a href="https://hslf.org/blog/2021/05/texas-tiger-arrives-black-beauty-ranch-were-focused-protecting-other-big-cats">another reminder</a> of why we’re also fighting to pass the <a href="https://hslf.org/blog/2021/04/bill-end-keeping-big-cats-pets-cub-petting-reintroduced-us-senate">Big Cat Public Safety Act</a>.)</p> <p>Whether it’s helping one animal in a Bronx home, or hundreds of animals in the wake of a hurricane, the key to success is being prepared. That’s why, in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina and the forced abandonment of animals that was imposed by authorities at that time, we led the campaign to pass the Pet Evacuation and Transportation Safety (PETS) Act to require that disaster response agencies seeking federal funds prepare disaster plans encompassing the needs of animals. We’re still working to strengthen the capacity of those agencies through our partnerships and we’re pressing for passage of the <a href="https://hslf.org/action-center/require-emergency-plans-protect-animals-during-disasters">Providing Responsible Emergency Plans for Animals at Risk of Emerging Disasters (PREPARED) Act</a> (H.R.1442) and USDA’s issuance of <a href="https://hslf.org/blog/2021/06/animals-deserve-disaster-preparedness-plans-too-heres-how-you-can-help">the emergency contingency rule</a>. Both this bill and USDA’s proposed regulations would ensure that commercial animal dealers, exhibitors and research facilities who are regulated under the Animal Welfare Act develop contingency plans for the animals in their care during disasters. During Congress’ August recess, we worked with Rep. Dina Titus, D-Nev., to mobilize a <a href="https://drive.google.com/file/d/11ag0wLuc5XRY9TqMmv7vN2nnl88wg_Ad/view?usp=sharing">bipartisan letter signed by 115 representatives</a> urging USDA to reinstate its long-delayed rule.</p> <p>Even if all such agencies were fully prepared, however, there would still be a role for our Animal Rescue and Response Team. Disasters and emergencies are unpredictable, and it’s our job to respond effectively. We’re grateful to supporters and allies who stand with us as we try to help animals and people through some of the toughest moments they’ll ever go through—and we’re grateful to be able to make a difference in these crises.</p> <p><em>Kitty Block is President and CEO of the Humane Society of the United States</em></p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-blog-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden tags field--items"> <a href="/taxonomy/term/34" hreflang="en">Federal Legislation</a> <a href="/taxonomy/term/29" hreflang="en">In the News</a> <a href="/taxonomy/term/32" hreflang="en">Pets &amp; Cruelty</a> <a href="/taxonomy/term/30" hreflang="en">Wildlife</a> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-type field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field--item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/176" hreflang="en">Blog</a></div> Tue, 31 Aug 2021 16:36:29 +0000 kblocher@hslf.org 21778 at https://hslf.org The Humane Society of the United States and Humane Society Legislative Fund issue a joint statement on agency’s final rule not being enough to turn the tide for declining right whale population https://hslf.org/press-release/2021/08/humane-society-united-states-and-humane-society-legislative-fund-issue-joint <span>The Humane Society of the United States and Humane Society Legislative Fund issue a joint statement on agency’s final rule not being enough to turn the tide for declining right whale population</span> <span><span lang="" about="/user/135" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">kblocher@hslf.org</span></span> <span>Tue, 08/31/2021 - 15:23</span> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><div id="content-inner"> <div class="page-title">The Humane Society of the United States and Humane Society Legislative Fund issue a joint statement on agency’s final rule not being enough to turn the tide for declining right whale population</div> <p>WASHINGTON (August 31, 2021)—Today, the National Marine Fisheries Service released details of their final plan to reduce the number of North Atlantic right whales who become entangled in the heavy ropes used in commercial lobster and crab fishing gear. Only approximately 360 right whales remain in the ocean, due in large part to such entanglements, and although they needed bold action to reduce this unsustainable death rate, this rule is insufficient to turn the tide.</p> <p>Over the years, the National Marine Fisheries Service’s efforts to protect the species have repeatedly fallen short. Because the agency’s latest effort to address entanglements offers no significant new measures to reduce risk, it seems inevitable that it will fail as well. While the final rule includes some new fishing closures, to be truly effective, the National Marine Fisheries Service needs to significantly expand the size and timing of seasonal fishing closures when right whales are known to be in those waters.</p> <p>Unfortunately, the plan is inadequate to effectively slow the species’ decline toward extinction and we are extremely disappointed that the agency did not take stronger action given the threats these whales face from human interactions.</p> <p><strong>Media Contact:</strong> Emily Ehrhorn, (202) 779-1814, <a href="mailto:eehrhorn@humanesociety.org">eehrhorn@humanesociety.org</a></p> <p style="text-align: center;">##</p> <p style="text-align: left;"><em>The Humane Society Legislative Fund is a social welfare organization incorporated under section 501(c)(4) of the Internal Revenue Code and formed in 2004 as a separate lobbying affiliate of The Humane Society of the United States. The HSLF works to pass animal protection laws at the state and federal level, to educate the public about animal protection issues, and to support humane candidates for office. Visit us on all our channels: on the web at <a href="https://hslf.org/">hslf.org</a>, on our blog at <a href="https://hslf.org/blog" target="_blank">hslf.org/blog</a>, on Facebook at <a href="https://www.facebook.com/humanelegislation" target="_blank">facebook.com/humanelegislation</a> and on Twitter at <a href="https://twitter.com/HSLegFund" target="_blank">twitter.com/HSLegFund</a>.</em></p> <p style="text-align: left;"><em>Founded in 1954, the Humane Society of the United States and its affiliates around the globe <a href="https://www.humanesociety.org/all-our-fights?credit=HSLF_boilerplate" target="_blank">fight the big fights</a> to end suffering for all animals. Together with millions of supporters, the HSUS takes on puppy mills, factory farms, trophy hunts, animal testing and other cruel industries, and together with its affiliates, rescues and provides direct care for over 100,000 animals every year. The HSUS works on reforming corporate policy, improving and enforcing laws and elevating public awareness on animal issues. More at <a href="http://humanesociety.org">humanesociety.org</a>. </em></p> <p style="text-align: left;"><em>Subscribe to Kitty Block’s blog, <a href="https://blog.humanesociety.org/">A Humane World</a>. Follow the HSUS Media Relations department on <a href="https://twitter.com/HSUSNews" target="_blank">Twitter</a>. Read the award-winning <a href="https://www.humanesociety.org/all-animals-magazine">All Animals</a> magazine. Listen to the <a href="https://www.humanesociety.org/humane-voices">Humane Voices Podcast</a>.</em></p> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-blog-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden tags field--items"> <a href="/taxonomy/term/30" hreflang="en">Wildlife</a> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-type field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field--item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/177" hreflang="en">Press Release</a></div> Tue, 31 Aug 2021 15:23:27 +0000 kblocher@hslf.org 21779 at https://hslf.org Pet cougar living in New York City home has been surrendered and is heading to sanctuary in Arkansas https://hslf.org/press-release/2021/08/pet-cougar-living-new-york-city-home-has-been-surrendered-and-heading <span>Pet cougar living in New York City home has been surrendered and is heading to sanctuary in Arkansas</span> <span><span lang="" about="/user/135" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">kblocher@hslf.org</span></span> <span>Mon, 08/30/2021 - 21:40</span> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><div id="content-inner"> <div class="page-title">Pet cougar living in New York City home has been surrendered and is heading to sanctuary in Arkansas</div> <h4 class="subhead minor"><em>The Humane Society of the United States, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, New York City Police Department and Bronx Zoo collaborated in the rescue</em></h4> <p>NEW YORK CITY (August 30, 2021)—The Humane Society of the United States, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, New York City Police Department and the Bronx Zoo collaborated last week to <a href="https://newsroom.humanesociety.org/fetcher/index.php?searchMerlin=1&amp;searchBrightcove=1&amp;submitted=1&amp;mw=d&amp;q=NYCcougar0821">remove an 11-month-old, approximately 80-pound, female cougar</a> from a New York City home on Thursday night. The HSUS was on scene with the owner who surrendered the cougar. The NYSDEC and NYPD worked to coordinate the safe removal of the big cat from the home and transport her to the Bronx Zoo where she was cared for by veterinarians and animal care staff over the weekend until her transport to an Arkansas animal sanctuary this afternoon. The cougar is now on her way to Turpentine Creek, an accredited sanctuary where she will receive lifelong care.</p> <p>Kelly Donithan, director of animal disaster response for the Humane Society of the United States, who was on scene with the cougar and facilitated the transport, said, “I’ve never seen a cougar in the wild, but I’ve seen them on leashes, smashed into cages, and crying for their mothers when breeders rip them away. I’ve also seen the heartbreak of owners, like in this case, after being sold not just a wild animal, but a false dream that they could make a good ‘pet.’ This cougar is relatively lucky that her owners recognized a wild cat is not fit to live in an apartment or any domestic environment. The owner’s tears and nervous chirps from the cougar as we drove her away painfully drives home the many victims of this horrendous trade and myth that wild animals belong anywhere but the wild. We are thankful to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and everyone who was involved in dealing with this complex situation for helping make this rescue possible.”</p> <p>“The NYPD, working with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Police, the Humane Society of the United States and the Bronx Zoo was able to safely receive and remove an 80-pound cougar from a private home in the Bronx. I want to thank the officers from the Emergency Service Unit and the Animal Cruelty Investigation Squad who were there to ensure that the large cat was safely removed. The cougar was transferred with assistance from the Humane Society of the United States to the Bronx Zoo and is now headed to a sanctuary where the cat can receive the appropriate care. The case is currently under investigation and no further information is available at this time,” said Police Commissioner Dermot Shea.</p> <p>“Wildlife like cougars are not pets,” said NYSDEC Commissioner Basil Seggos. “While cougars may look cute and cuddly when young, these animals can grow up to be unpredictable and dangerous. NYSDEC is thankful to our partners at the New York Police Department, the Humane Society of the United States, Bronx Zoo Wildlife Conservation Society, and Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge for their efforts to advance the surrender of this wild animal and transport it to a safe location.”</p> <p>Sara Amundson, president of the Humane Society Legislative Fund, said, “A majestic species native to the United States and much of the Americas, cougars thrive in their natural habitats, not in a city home. Individuals and unqualified entities simply cannot meet these wild animals’ complex needs. The sad situation from which this cougar is being rescued is a textbook example of why Congress must, once and for all, pass the <a href="https://www.congress.gov/bill/117th-congress/house-bill/263?q=%7B%22search%22%3A%5B%22big+cat+public+safety+act%22%5D%7D&amp;s=2&amp;r=3">Big Cat Public Safety Act</a>.”</p> <p>If signed into law, the Big Cat Public Safety Act would strengthen existing laws to prohibit the breeding and possession of big cat species such as lions, tigers, cheetahs and jaguars, except by qualified entities.</p> <p>Jim Breheny, director of the Bronx Zoo and executive vice president of the Wildlife Conservation Society Zoos &amp; Aquarium, said, “At the Bronx Zoo, we were glad to assist the agencies working to rescue this cougar and provide care and housing for her until her transfer. <a href="https://newsroom.wcs.org/News-Releases/articleType/ArticleView/articleId/16190/Bronx-Zoo-Issues-Statement-on-the-US-Governments-Seizure-of-Big-Cats-In-Oklahoma-Held-in-Substandard-Conditions.aspx">We have long opposed the private ownership of big cats as pets</a>. Big cats in the exotic pet trade make no contribution to the conservation of their species. These animals often end up in very bad situations, kept by private individuals who don’t have the resources, facilities, knowledge, or expertise to provide for the animals’ most basic needs. In addition to these welfare concerns for the animals, the keeping of big cats by private people poses a real safety hazard to the owner, the owner’s family and the community at large.”</p> <p>New York has long seen cases involving dangerous animals in private residences that threaten public safety, including a case in 2003 where the NYPD removed an adult tiger from a Harlem apartment with the assistance of Bronx Zoo staff, and in 2004 when a child in Suffolk County was attacked by his father’s pet leopard. The Bronx Zoo responds periodically to emergency calls by providing antivenom when individuals with exotic venomous snakes get bitten. In 2020, <a href="https://blog.humanesociety.org/2019/09/new-york-proposes-to-crack-down-on-private-ownership-of-capuchin-monkeys-arctic-foxes-raccoons-skunks-and-other-wildlife.html">New York increased its regulation of ownership of wild animals</a>.</p> <p>“We have witnessed countless wild animals kept in shoddy, unstable cages, and participated in rescues that resulted from animals escaping and roaming the streets,” Tanya Smith, Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge president, commented. “In these cases, the escaped animals are often killed, and people can be harmed. It’s as much of a public safety issue as it is an animal welfare issue. We are so happy we can provide a safe and proper environment for this cougar to be free without being at risk of causing harm or being harmed.”</p> <p><a href="https://newsroom.humanesociety.org/fetcher/index.php?searchMerlin=1&amp;searchBrightcove=1&amp;submitted=1&amp;mw=d&amp;q=NYCcougar0821">Download Photos/Videos</a></p> <p><strong>Media Contacts:</strong><br /> <strong>Rodi Rosensweig,</strong> HSUS/HSLF: 202-809-8711, <a href="mailto:rrosensweig@humanesociety.org">rrosensweig@humanesociety.org</a><br /> <strong>Max Pulsinelli</strong>, Bronx Zoo: 571-218-7601, <a href="mailto:mpulsinelli@wcs.org">mpulsinelli@wcs.org</a><br /> <strong>Lori Severino</strong>, NYSDEC: 518-402-8000, <a href="mailto:PressOffice@dec.ny.gov">PressOffice@dec.ny.gov</a><br /> <strong>Cheryl King</strong>, Turpentine Creek: 479-981-3344, <a href="mailto:marketing@tcwr.org">marketing@tcwr.org</a></p> <p class="press-release-footer"><strong><strong> </strong></strong></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong><strong>##</strong></strong></p> <p style="text-align: left;"><em>The Humane Society Legislative Fund is a social welfare organization incorporated under section 501(c)(4) of the Internal Revenue Code and formed in 2004 as a separate lobbying affiliate of The Humane Society of the United States. The HSLF works to pass animal protection laws at the state and federal level, to educate the public about animal protection issues, and to support humane candidates for office. Visit us on all our channels: on the web at <a href="https://hslf.org/">hslf.org</a>, on our blog at <a href="https://hslf.org/blog" target="_blank">hslf.org/blog</a>, on Facebook at <a href="https://www.facebook.com/humanelegislation" target="_blank">facebook.com/humanelegislation</a> and on Twitter at <a href="https://twitter.com/HSLegFund" target="_blank">twitter.com/HSLegFund</a>.</em></p> <p style="text-align: left;"><em>Founded in 1954, the Humane Society of the United States and its affiliates around the globe <a href="https://www.humanesociety.org/all-our-fights?credit=HSLF_boilerplate" target="_blank">fight the big fights</a> to end suffering for all animals. Together with millions of supporters, the HSUS takes on puppy mills, factory farms, trophy hunts, animal testing and other cruel industries, and together with its affiliates, rescues and provides direct care for over 100,000 animals every year. The HSUS works on reforming corporate policy, improving and enforcing laws and elevating public awareness on animal issues. More at <a href="http://humanesociety.org">humanesociety.org</a>. </em></p> <p style="text-align: left;"><em>Subscribe to Kitty Block’s blog, <a href="https://blog.humanesociety.org/">A Humane World</a>. Follow the HSUS Media Relations department on <a href="https://twitter.com/HSUSNews" target="_blank">Twitter</a>. Read the award-winning <a href="https://www.humanesociety.org/all-animals-magazine">All Animals</a> magazine. Listen to the <a href="https://www.humanesociety.org/humane-voices">Humane Voices Podcast</a>.</em></p> <p style="text-align: left;"><em>The Bronx Zoo, located on 265 acres of hardwood forest in Bronx, NY, opened on Nov. 8, 1899. It is world-renowned for its leadership in the areas of animal welfare, husbandry, veterinary care, education, science and conservation. The zoo is accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) and is the flagship park of the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) which manages the world’s largest network of urban wildlife parks including the Bronx Zoo, Central Park Zoo, Prospect Park Zoo, Queens Zoo and New York Aquarium. Our curators and animal care staff work to save, propagate, and sustain populations of threatened and endangered species. We have educated and inspired more than 400 million visitors at our zoos and aquarium since our opening and host approximately 4 million guests at our parks each year – including about a half-million students annually. The Bronx Zoo is the largest youth employer in the borough of the Bronx, providing opportunity and helping to transform lives in one of the most under-served communities in the nation. The Bronx Zoo is the subject of THE ZOO, a docu-series aired world-wide on Animal Planet. Members of the media should contact <a href="mailto:mpulsinelli@wcs.org">mpulsinelli@wcs.org</a> (718-220-5182) or <a href="mailto:mdixon@wcs.org">mdixon@wcs.org</a> (347-840-1242) for more information or with questions.</em></p> <p style="text-align: left;"><em>Founded in 1992, Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization and rescue operation protecting survivors of the exotic animal trade. The 450-acre refuge, located 7 miles south of Eureka Springs, is also an ethical animal tourism destination and a “Top Ten” family friendly attraction in Northwest Arkansas. The organization does not buy, sell, trade, loan out or breed their animals, and they do not offer cub petting or harmful pay-for-play opportunities. They are accredited by the Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries, a member of the American Association of Zoo Keepers and licensed by the USDA and Arkansas Game and Fish. Their mission is to provide lifetime refuge for abandoned, abused, and neglected "Big Cats" with emphasis on Tigers, Lions, Leopards, and Cougars.</em></p> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-blog-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden tags field--items"> <a href="/taxonomy/term/30" hreflang="en">Wildlife</a> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-type field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field--item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/177" hreflang="en">Press Release</a></div> Mon, 30 Aug 2021 21:40:03 +0000 kblocher@hslf.org 21777 at https://hslf.org As assaults against wolves mount, Biden Administration misses the mark https://hslf.org/blog/2021/08/assaults-against-wolves-mount-biden-administration-misses-mark <span>As assaults against wolves mount, Biden Administration misses the mark</span> <span><span lang="" about="/user/135" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">kblocher@hslf.org</span></span> <span>Mon, 08/23/2021 - 19:33</span> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><p><em>By Sara Amundson and Kitty Block</em></p> <p>Our nation’s assault on wildlife has been going on for centuries, with a staggering toll of animal loss that dates back to our colonial past. Over those hundreds of years, you’d be hard-pressed to identify a more vilified and persecuted species than the wolf. Today, the campaign that began with farmers and other private landowners baiting, shooting, and trapping wolves has morphed into the institutionalized trophy hunting, bounty killing and government-sponsored predator-control practices that account for their slaughter.</p> <p>As the February 2021 hunt in Wisconsin made clear, with 2,380 hunting permits issued for a quota of 119 wolves and with <a href="https://blog.humanesociety.org/2021/08/termed-out-wisconsin-board-chair-plays-politics-with-wolves-lives-in-the-balance.html">218 wolves killed</a> in less than three days, the extermination of wolves is a hot conflict. It is one fueled by special interest lobbies and poorly governed state wildlife agencies. We were dismayed late last week to see the Biden administration affirm its position that gray wolves should <a href="https://www.npr.org/2021/08/20/1029854797/biden-gray-wolves-endangered-species-protections-hunting?fbclid=IwAR2lfyc-U4L5buifCTWNwK0eQeAogEjzZIauJb5X-DS1gEeMwRosqkrMILM">not be afforded the protections of the Endangered Species Act</a>.</p> <p>Less than a day after taking office, President Biden issued Executive Order 13390, which directed federal agencies to review Trump administration regulations—including the delisting of gray wolves—to ensure they complied with his administration’s stated commitment to using <a href="https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/presidential-actions/2021/01/20/executive-order-protecting-public-health-and-environment-and-restoring-science-to-tackle-climate-crisis/">the best available science</a> in all decision-making bearing upon the environment and natural resources.</p> <p>Last week’s announcement brings the Biden administration’s review of the delisting rule to a disheartening end. Once again, wolves are the targets of what is effectively a bipartisan onslaught. The management of this keystone species is a striking example of an issue where both major parties have supported the wrong path.</p> <p>We could not be more disappointed. But we are no less determined.</p> <p>It speaks volumes about wolves’ dire predicament in 2021 that Dan Ashe, head of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service under President Obama from 2011 to 2018, who maintained throughout his two decades at the agency that wolves no longer needed protection, <a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2021/08/03/wolves-idaho-montana-cruelty-conservation/?variant=116ae929826d1fd3">recently called for the emergency relisting of wolves under the ESA</a>, and other active measures by the federal government to shield them from attempts by states to exterminate them.</p> <p>As Ashe observed, the war on wolves has entered a new phase, an era of “ecocide” in which state legislatures and wildlife management agencies in key states have abandoned any pretense of scientific management in favor of out-and-out extermination policies. They clearly cannot be trusted. This coming year, Idaho and Montana will kill ​up to 90 and 80 percent of their wolves, respectively, giving the green light to baiting, packs of dogs, body-gripping traps and snares, night vision equipment, unlimited firearms, use of vehicles, snaring, unrestricted limits; and bounty payments. These states don’t care whether the animals are nursing females, newborns or alpha males. It’s open season on them all.</p> <p>Our <a href="https://www.humanesociety.org/news/groups-challenge-trump-administration-over-gray-wolf-delisting">court case</a> ​challenging the delisting is not over. We expect a final ruling by the court later ​this year and we hope that our arguments will prevail.</p> <p>If they don’t, we’ll bring additional pressure on the Biden administration to live up to the promise of ​Executive Order 13390, and specifically its commitment ​to ensuring the government’s decisions “be guided by the best science and be protected by processes that ensure the integrity of Federal decision-making.”</p> <p>In this case, the best available science shows that wolves should remain listed under the ESA. Multiple peer reviews commissioned by the FWS concluded that the agency failed to rely on the best available science in its evaluation of wolves’ status as a species. Dr. Carlos Carroll, for example, faulted the agency for “<a href="https://www.fws.gov/endangered/esa-library/pdf/Final%20Gray%20Wolf%20Peer%20Review%20Summary%20Report_053119.pdf">lack of detail and rigor</a>” and “extreme oversimplification” in its treatment of key biological issues, as well as a failure to “provide coherent factual support or logical explanation for [its] conclusions.”</p> <p>Beginning in the 1960s, a powerful force of opposition to the indiscriminate killing of wolves emerged, fueled by a deeper understanding of wolves and a greater respect for their place in our natural ecosystems. That’s the side we’ve been on for decades, and regardless of who’s in charge in Washington, DC, that’s the side we’ll always take.</p> <p>We have never stood on the sidelines in the face of wolf slaughter. Over the last decade, especially, our government affairs team has helped to stave off repeated political assaults on the ESA and other federal protections. Our litigation group has filed lawsuits and <a href="https://hslf.org/press-release/2021/05/endangered-species-act-protection-sought-wolves-northern-rockies">petitions</a> in pursuit of the same goals. We’ve also worked closely with other major organizations to defend and protect wolves across their entire North American range. We believe that returning protections to wolves is both legally required and scientifically necessary to ensure their recovery and survival. And we’re going to press for their restoration to protected status as if their lives depend on it—because they do.</p> <p><em>Kitty Block is President and CEO of the Humane Society of the United States</em></p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-blog-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden tags field--items"> <a href="/taxonomy/term/30" hreflang="en">Wildlife</a> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-type field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field--item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/176" hreflang="en">Blog</a></div> Mon, 23 Aug 2021 19:33:23 +0000 kblocher@hslf.org 21775 at https://hslf.org Biden administration denies wolves protection under the Endangered Species Act https://hslf.org/press-release/2021/08/biden-administration-denies-wolves-protection-under-endangered-species-act <span>Biden administration denies wolves protection under the Endangered Species Act</span> <span><span lang="" about="/user/135" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">kblocher@hslf.org</span></span> <span>Mon, 08/23/2021 - 16:51</span> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><div id="content-inner"> <div class="page-title">Biden administration denies wolves protection under the Endangered Species Act</div> <p>WASHINGTON (August 23, 2021)—Since the federal government turned management of gray wolves over to the states on January 4, 2021, these iconic and family-oriented animals have faced relentless persecution by trophy hunters and trappers. Yet, U.S. Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland today reaffirmed the Biden administration’s position that gray wolves should not be afforded Endangered Species Act protections. This decision defies the science and the law. The Humane Society family of organizations will continue to fight back against this effort.</p> <p>Kitty Block, president and CEO of the Humane Society of the United States, said, “Rather than fulfilling their charge to conserve and protect native wildlife, today the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service turned their backs on science, ethics and the values of most Americans and endorsed the continued no-holds-barred slaughter of one of our nation’s most iconic species. Returning federal protections to wolves is both legally required and necessary for these wolves’ survival and recovery, and we will continue to fight for their protection.”</p> <p>Sara Amundson, president of the Humane Society Legislative Fund, said, “It is fallacious to insist the Biden administration’s review of the science supports delisting wolves. In fact, it defies logic, science and the values of the majority of Americans and serves the interests of only one small group: trophy hunters. As a native Minnesotan, I’ve seen first-hand the value of gray wolves to our natural ecosystems. But it’s not too late—the Biden administration has the opportunity to right the catastrophic wrong by standing by its own platitude of only making evidence-based decisions. Wolves should be listed. Americans support it, and so does the science.”</p> <p><strong>Media Contact</strong></p> <ul> <li><strong>HSUS/HSLF: Anna West,</strong> 240-751-2669, <a href="mailto:awest@hslf.org">awest@hslf.org</a></li> </ul> <p class="press-release-footer"> </p> <p style="text-align: center;">##</p> <p style="text-align: left;"><em>The Humane Society Legislative Fund is a social welfare organization incorporated under section 501(c)(4) of the Internal Revenue Code and formed in 2004 as a separate lobbying affiliate of The Humane Society of the United States. The HSLF works to pass animal protection laws at the state and federal level, to educate the public about animal protection issues, and to support humane candidates for office. Visit us on all our channels: on the web at <a href="https://hslf.org/">hslf.org</a>, on our blog at <a href="https://hslf.org/blog" target="_blank">hslf.org/blog</a>, on Facebook at <a href="https://www.facebook.com/humanelegislation" target="_blank">facebook.com/humanelegislation</a> and on Twitter at <a href="https://twitter.com/HSLegFund" target="_blank">twitter.com/HSLegFund</a>.</em></p> <p style="text-align: left;"><em>Founded in 1954, the Humane Society of the United States and its affiliates around the globe <a href="https://www.humanesociety.org/all-our-fights?credit=HSLF_boilerplate" target="_blank">fight the big fights</a> to end suffering for all animals. Together with millions of supporters, the HSUS takes on puppy mills, factory farms, trophy hunts, animal testing and other cruel industries, and together with its affiliates, rescues and provides direct care for over 100,000 animals every year. The HSUS works on reforming corporate policy, improving and enforcing laws and elevating public awareness on animal issues. More at <a href="http://humanesociety.org">humanesociety.org</a>. </em></p> <p style="text-align: left;"><em>Subscribe to Kitty Block’s blog, <a href="https://blog.humanesociety.org/">A Humane World</a>. Follow the HSUS Media Relations department on <a href="https://twitter.com/HSUSNews" target="_blank">Twitter</a>. Read the award-winning <a href="https://www.humanesociety.org/all-animals-magazine">All Animals</a> magazine. Listen to the <a href="https://www.humanesociety.org/humane-voices">Humane Voices Podcast</a>.</em></p> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-blog-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden tags field--items"> <a href="/taxonomy/term/30" hreflang="en">Wildlife</a> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-type field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field--item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/177" hreflang="en">Press Release</a></div> Mon, 23 Aug 2021 16:51:40 +0000 kblocher@hslf.org 21774 at https://hslf.org Another majestic lion was killed in Zimbabwe, allegedly by an American hunter https://hslf.org/press-release/2021/08/another-majestic-lion-was-killed-zimbabwe-allegedly-american-hunter <span>Another majestic lion was killed in Zimbabwe, allegedly by an American hunter</span> <span><span lang="" about="/user/135" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">kblocher@hslf.org</span></span> <span>Fri, 08/13/2021 - 19:42</span> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><div id="content-inner"> <div class="page-title">Another majestic lion was killed in Zimbabwe, allegedly by an American hunter</div> <h4 class="subhead minor"><em>The death of Mopane is reminiscent of Cecil’s demise</em></h4> <p>WASHINGTON (August 13, 2021)—A majestic lion named Mopane was <a href="https://africageographic.com/stories/trophy-hunters-kill-another-breeding-hwange-lion-mopane/?mc_cid=c0f36fc9fe&amp;mc_eid=b092c770fa">allegedly killed by an American hunter</a> outside of Hwange National Park in Zimbabwe last week. Mopane’s death has sparked international outcry with details surrounding his killing similar to those of Cecil the lion, slaughtered in 2015 in the same area. With his impressive mane, Mopane was well-known to local tour guides and international tourists visiting the area to catch a glimpse of him.</p> <p>Just like 13-year-old Cecil who was lured with an elephant carcass as bait, it was reported that the approximately 12-year-old Mopane was possibly lured out of the Hwange National Park with bait and killed in in the same place that Cecil was killed on land adjacent to the Park. Like Cecil who headed up a lion pride, Mopane was known to have <a href="https://www.dailymaverick.co.za/article/2021-08-11-cecil-revisited-another-hwange-male-lion-shot-by-a-bow-hunter/">formed a coalition</a> with another male lion named Sidhule, and the two males formed a pride with two adult females and six sub-adults of about 16 to 18 months old. Locals were concerned that Sidhule and Mopane would be targeted by trophy hunters and <a href="https://www.sapeople.com/2021/08/06/breaking-well-known-lion-mopane-killed-by-hunters-in-zimbabwe-leaving-vulnerable-pride/?fbclid=IwAR2onMn9BHK4cbRRCoReBaPgf_ufbpmyqZh1iGA24cp1QV-CY4EILB4t3Q4">started a petition to protect them</a>. Unfortunately, Sidhule fell victim to a trophy hunter and was killed two years ago this month in 2019.</p> <p>Kitty Block, president and CEO of the Humane Society of the United States and CEO of Humane Society International said, “Mopane was a father and played a significant role in his pride. Without him, his pride is now vulnerable to takeover by another male or group of males, which may lead to the killing of the cubs and females in his pride. Yet, as with Cecil six years ago, the perverse pleasure some people derive from killing iconic animals brought this noble lion’s life to a tragic end. Another trophy hunter spending tens of thousands of dollars on a globe-trotting thrill-to-kill escapade shows humanity at its worst. It is shameful that the U.S. has the distinction of being the <a href="https://www.hsi.org/wp-content/uploads/assets/pdfs/report_trophy_hunting_by_the.pdf">world’s biggest importer of hunting trophies</a>. Enough is enough.”</p> <p>Sara Amundson, president of Humane Society Legislative Fund said, “The individual depravity that underlies trophy hunting is self-evident. But the terrible truth is that our federal government systematically enables trophy hunting of threatened and endangered species by Americans through its failure to revise import policies that permit the bloodshed to continue. On the campaign trail President Biden expressed his concern for this issue and he can and should now direct the relevant federal agencies to halt the import of trophy parts from species listed under the Endangered Species Act. Until we have a properly implemented regulatory framework that upholds the conservation mandate in federal law, this is little more than lawless carnage.”</p> <p>The African lion is protected under the U.S. Endangered Species Act. However, trophy hunters continue to be authorized by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to import trophy-hunted <a href="https://blog.humanesociety.org/2018/03/breaking-news-hsus-hsi-sue-federal-wildlife-officials-stop-imports-elephant-lion-trophies.html">lions</a> and <a href="https://hslf.org/blog/2020/10/us-allowing-trophy-hunters-bring-home-hundreds-leopard-trophies-we-are-suing-stop">other species</a> threatened with extinction under a permitting scheme that HSUS and HSI have challenged as violating federal law. The Humane Society Legislative Fund is currently working with the Administration and Congress to address this dangerous and broken import permit system.</p> <p>Neither Cecil’s nor Mopane’s killings are anomalies. Between 2009 and 2018, 7,667 lion trophies were traded internationally, including into the U.S. and the European Union. In addition to advocating to eliminate the import of lion trophies into the U.S., HSI is working in South Africa to prohibit the export of lion trophies and in the U.K. and European Union to prohibit the import of imperiled species trophies.</p> <p>Additional information:</p> <ul> <li>An estimated 20,000 mature lions remain in the wild in Africa.</li> <li>Lions are infanticidal species. Infanticide occurs when adult males take over a new territory and kills the dependent cubs in order to increase mating opportunities with resident females that have dependent offspring.</li> <li>Human-induced removal of lions, such as trophy hunting, disrupts social group and results in infanticide. More information on African lions can be found <a href="https://www.hsi.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/African-lion-factsheet.pdf">here</a>.</li> <li>While the U.S. is the largest importer of hunting trophies, the EU has surpassed the U.S. as the largest importer of lion trophies between 2016 and 2018 according to a <a href="https://www.hsi.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/Trophy-hunting-numbers-eu-report.pdf">new report</a> by HSI/Europe.</li> </ul> <p><strong>Media Contact</strong></p> <ul> <li><strong>HSUS/HSLF: Rodi Rosensweig,</strong> (202) 809-8711, <a href="mailto:rrosensweig@humanesociety.org">rrosensweig@humanesociety.org</a></li> </ul> <p class="press-release-footer"> </p> <p style="text-align: center;">##</p> <p style="text-align: left;"><em>The Humane Society Legislative Fund is a social welfare organization incorporated under section 501(c)(4) of the Internal Revenue Code and formed in 2004 as a separate lobbying affiliate of The Humane Society of the United States. The HSLF works to pass animal protection laws at the state and federal level, to educate the public about animal protection issues, and to support humane candidates for office. Visit us on all our channels: on the web at <a href="https://hslf.org/">hslf.org</a>, on our blog at <a href="https://hslf.org/blog" target="_blank">hslf.org/blog</a>, on Facebook at <a href="https://www.facebook.com/humanelegislation" target="_blank">facebook.com/humanelegislation</a> and on Twitter at <a href="https://twitter.com/HSLegFund" target="_blank">twitter.com/HSLegFund</a>.</em></p> <p style="text-align: left;"><em>Founded in 1954, the Humane Society of the United States and its affiliates around the globe <a href="https://www.humanesociety.org/all-our-fights?credit=HSLF_boilerplate" target="_blank">fight the big fights</a> to end suffering for all animals. Together with millions of supporters, the HSUS takes on puppy mills, factory farms, trophy hunts, animal testing and other cruel industries, and together with its affiliates, rescues and provides direct care for over 100,000 animals every year. The HSUS works on reforming corporate policy, improving and enforcing laws and elevating public awareness on animal issues. More at <a href="http://humanesociety.org">humanesociety.org</a>. </em></p> <p style="text-align: left;"><em>Subscribe to Kitty Block’s blog, <a href="https://blog.humanesociety.org/">A Humane World</a>. Follow the HSUS Media Relations department on <a href="https://twitter.com/HSUSNews" target="_blank">Twitter</a>. Read the award-winning <a href="https://www.humanesociety.org/all-animals-magazine">All Animals</a> magazine. Listen to the <a href="https://www.humanesociety.org/humane-voices">Humane Voices Podcast</a>.</em></p> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-blog-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden tags field--items"> <a href="/taxonomy/term/29" hreflang="en">In the News</a> <a href="/taxonomy/term/30" hreflang="en">Wildlife</a> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-type field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field--item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/177" hreflang="en">Press Release</a></div> Fri, 13 Aug 2021 19:42:50 +0000 kblocher@hslf.org 21771 at https://hslf.org