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Saturday, 27 May 2017

Legislation / Campaigns


Is Maine’s Wildlife Management at a Crossroads? Print E-mail
Almost half of Maine’s voters want to see an end to bear baiting, hounding and trapping. The issue of how we kill wildlife has been brought to the public forefront like never before. The referendum significantly raised the awareness of wildlife animal cruelty, unethical hunting practices and how we manage our wildlife in Maine. The referendum flushed out the fundamental reason we had a referendum – the complete control of wildlife issues by a handful of legislators, a special interest group, notably the Maine Sportsman’s Alliance (SAM) and a state agency leadership that are politically, ideologically, personally and financially connected. One has to look no further then the fact that 12 of the 13 members of last year’s Committee on Inland Fisheries and Wildlife members were also members of SAM, and the present Deputy Commissioner of the Department of IF&W was a SAM lobbyist. 
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Coyote Snaring Update Print E-mail
Acting upon the recommendations of Maine Attorney General Steven Rowe, the Department of Inland Fisheries & Wildlife (DIF&W) has spent the past two years pursuing an “incidental take permit,” a federal document stating that Maine has done everything possible to ensure the safety of protected species and thus, would not be held liable der the Endangered Species Act. Responding to DIF&W’s second effort at writing a permit application, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service told state biologists that significant work remained. The USFWS letter criticized the department’s plan as 46 somewhat troubling and appears to be disingenuous,” and requested more scientific evidence of the negative impact that coyotes have on deer populations and that the snaring program works. “The state has offered no support for its contentions that many of the proposed alternatives are unworkable or unwaffanted,” the letter continued. DIF&W’s Ken Elowe said, “common sense and anecdotal information prove that localized coyote control works.” This update appears to be very good news and perhaps another nail in the coffin of this ugly program, but the battle is not over. Letters to the Governor and members of the Committee on IF&W should continue.
 
End coyote snaring cruelty now Print E-mail
Coyote snaring is back in the news. A recent internal memorandum by Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife regional biologist Chuck Hulsey reiterated the lack of IF&W support for the coyote program, and had an accompanying necropsy report that detailed the horrific way in which these snared animals died.

It is an indefensible program that exists solely because of the work of special-interest groups and the lack of public awareness.
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Maine adopts rules and regulations for circus elephants Print E-mail
(Falmouth) Maine will become the first state to pass legislation to address the treatment of performing elephants. A three year effort by Maine Friends of Animals (MFOA) and "Elephant Free in 200'j' culminated with legislation that requires the Maine Department of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources to adopt rules regarding the care and treatment of elephants. Maine would be the first state to require specific guidelines for the care of elephants to be put into law.
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