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Sunday, 25 June 2017

15 years and still fighting cruel coyote legislation Print E-mail
Written by Robert Fisk   
Wednesday, 02 May 2012

Dear MFOA Member and Supporter,

CoyoteIn this 15th anniversary year of Maine Friends of Animals, we can celebrate significant victories, but we're also aware of what remains unaccomplished. Cruel practices that motivated our early wildlife protection efforts are still with us.

The hunting lobby mistakenly targets coyotes as the primary cause of declining deer populations and continually introduces inhumane, ineffective legislation to permit the shooting, trapping bounties and snaring of these natural predators on a massive scale.  

Despite the fact that wildlife biologists are nearly unanimous in their opinions that coyote management does not work, the hunting lobby persists.

A long history of opposing brutal practices

snared coyoteMore than a decade ago, MFOA submitted legislation to ban both the snaring and trapping of coyotes, and we helped spearhead a two-year campaign to raise public awareness about coyote snaring and to end support for it.

A necropsy study of snared coyotes conducted by Maine's Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife in 2001 provided conclusive evidence of the intense suffering inflicted by snares. The study reported that:

"Hemorrhaging was evident in most of the coyotes' swollen heads. Their eyes and mouths were bloody, their lips split and their teeth broken from trying to chew their way out of the snare. There were broken limbs resulting from long struggling. And in many cases, because the coyote had not strangled to death and was not even dead when the snarer returned, it was clubbed to death."

End cruelty, support science-based management

Snaring of coyotes in Maine was curtailed in 2003 because of federal concerns about endangered Canadian Lynx that had been found in snares.  But the hunting lobby remains undeterred. Only a year ago, I testified on behalf of MFOA before the legislature against five ill-conceived coyote "management" bills involving snaring, night hunting and a coyote bounty permit.  Reminding the committee that:

"We heavily debated coyote killing in 2001-2002 and nothing has changed since then. This program was ineffectual, extremely cruel, a waste of taxpayer dollars, and one the department (I.F. & W.) does not believe in nor wishes to administer."

We will continue to fight this needless legislation and antiquated thinking, but we need your help. It takes money to keep the facts in front of the legislature, media and the public.

coyote2Join our effort to end needless cruelty to coyotes and other wildlife by making a donation to MFOA today.  Contribute via the enclosed envelope or by visiting our website http://www.mfoa.net/membership_donations.html.

Education is vital

History shows that attempts to control coyote populations by bounties, snaring, open season and trapping do not work because coyotes are so biologically and behaviorally adaptable.  One of the nation's foremost writers on the outdoors, Ted Williams, calls such efforts "ill-conceived, ineffective and inhumane."

MFOA favors the adoption of the most current science-based practices, including habitat restoration and other foresting practices, to restore the deer population. We also encourage people to learn to live in harmony with our fellow creatures, including coyotes.  Educational resources include the "Misunderstood Coyote" in our 2011 newsletter:  (http://www.mfoa.net/images/stories/mfoanewsletter_2011.pdf) and, if you would like a more in-depth understanding of these animals, Coyotes in Our Midst: Coexisting with an Adaptable and Resilient Carnivore by Camilla Fox.

Determined advocacy creates change

The animal-protection victories achieved by MFOA over the last 15 years are proof that we can change minds and change policies, but we must have financial resources to continue our legislative and educational work. Please help Maine's leading animal protection organization in our continuing efforts to give voice to Maine's animals.

Please donate today!

We are grateful for your support. 

 

Robert Fisk, Jr.

President & Director

 
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