Accelerated Wolf Shooting in Alaska: An International Horror

Friends of Animals / Voices for Animal Liberation / March 11, 2004

Pittsburgh, PA - As aerial wolf-killing in Alaska accelerates, so does the urgency of citizens across the country organizing Howl-Ins to boycott travel to Alaska. Voices for Animal Liberation will be at the lobby entrance of the East End Food Co-op, at 7516 Meade St., from 11am-2pm on Saturday, March 13th. Howl-Ins educate the public about Alaska's state-sponsored aerial wolf-shooting program, which was recently reinstated after a ten-year moratorium on the practice, and is being countered by a tourism boycott.

Since January 2004, at least 100 wolves have been chased down and shot in the Nelchina basin and McGrath regions of Alaska, where the state sponsors aerial wolf "control" programs. In the last two weeks, the Board of Game expanded the shooting spree to include bears and land in the McGrath area beyond the original 1,728 square miles, doubling it to 3,588 square miles, and this week opened additional areas -- encompassing about 20,000 square miles - to wolf "control". The no-hunting or trapping buffer zone outside of Denali National Park was also reduced, leaving it sorely inadequate for Denali's wolves.

The Board's decisions have comprised a frontal assault on the majority of Alaskans, wolves and other free-living animals, Friends of Animals says.

"These wolf and bear-killing measures, designed to appease hunters are insane, out of step with modern society, and show how uncivilized the policy-makers are. The Board of Game is trying to erase 8 years of compromise, and progressive policy made under the previous governor, Tony Knowles. It's an international horror," says Priscilla Feral, president of Friends of Animals.

Governor Murkowski, who appointed 6 of the 7 Board of Game members, has ignored the citizens of Alaska, who have voted against these programs twice (in 1996 and 2000 voter referenda). In response, over 80,000 Boycott Alaska postcards have been mailed, as well as countless letters, faxes, emails, and phone calls from North Americans and people all over the globe, pledging to boycott Alaska's $2 billion-a-year tourism industry until the aerial wolf-shooting stops.

"Doubling the wolf 'control' area in McGrath is likely to accelerate the number of wolves killed there, and it reflects the underlying source of the problem- a lack of ethics combined with faulty scientific reasoning. Although we denounce the ethical poverty associated with the killing of each wolf, we note that even the state's scientific reasoning is off the mark, for the expansion exposes the reality that there is a smaller number of wolves in the area than the state's biologists asserted," says Feral.

To date, Pittsburgh marks the 108th Howl-in.

Friends of Animals
777 Post Road
Darien, CT 06820

Contact: Priscilla Feral (203) 656-1522 at Friends of Animals or
Candice Zawoiski, Voices for Animal Liberation, (412) 370.1998 (local contact)


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