Wolf Control a Sickening Return to Barbarism

Letter to the Editor / Juneau Empire / November 9, 2003

Gov. Murkowski's reinstatement of antiquated land-and-shoot laws and the imminent wolf slaughter in Alaska is a sickening return to the senseless, barbaric practices begun even prior to statehood and continued thereafter with the state-sanctioned killing of wolves - more than 7,000 between 1996 and 2001 alone, and possibly twice that number, according to the Alaska Department of Fish and Game's harvest summary.

Even without land-and-shoot, Alaska is nothing short of America's hell hole for wolves, with nearly 7,500 killed through hunting and trapping in the past five years. With wolf killing already rampant in Alaska, with Endangered Species Act protections being lessened or obliterated throughout the Lower 48 states, and with wolves being highly endangered throughout much of the world, it is shocking that Alaska, home to the largest remaining population of gray wolves in the United States, would condone and even encourage such activity. Will Little Red Riding Hood be distributed alongside Alaska's colorful tourism brochures?
Land-and-shoot is a transparent law, an obvious move to mollify disgruntled hunting interests that claim wolves reduce "their" moose and caribou herds. Never mind the facts, that larger prey species elude wolves up to 97 percent of the time. Never mind that wolves actually help control the delicate balance of nature via the "sanitation effect," removing the sick, weak, inferior and old members of their prey species, thus strengthening those gene pools. Wolves, predators with a purpose, put human hunters, predators without a cause, to shame. Moose and caribou, an intricate part of the food chain and nature's natural order, at least die with dignity via the fangs of the wolf. Wolves, nature's most maligned and misunderstood creatures, do not die with the same dignity and respect via the airplanes and guns of blood-thirsty sporting "enthusiasts." This new, heightened slaughter of wolves via aerial methods confirms once again the intellectual, sociological and psychological inferiority of man.

Vivian Singer-Ferris / Executive Director / Kerwood Wolf Education Centre Inc. / Ontario, Canada

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