Press Release Wolf Day 2018: Band Together, Ban the Snare

PRESS RELEASE
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: April 11, 2018

CONTACT: Dr. Maureen Hackett, Howling For Wolves, 612.250.5915
 

Band Together, Ban the Snare: Howling For Wolves announces Legislative
Priorities at “Wolf Day 2018” at the Minnesota State Capitol

(St. Paul, Minn) – Howling For Wolves, a Minnesota-based wolf advocacy organization, announced their 2018 Legislative Priorities today at “Wolf Day 2018: Band Together, Ban the Snare.” Several hundred wolf advocates gathered to rally in support of the wild wolf and to meet with their state legislators.

The Howling For Wolves 2018 Legislative Priorities, announced by Howling For Wolves President and Founder Dr. Maureen Hackett, support effective wolf plans that recover and support the gray wolf population so that communities and wolves may co-exist. The agenda includes legislation to:

Remove the automatic and reckless wolf trophy hunt in current Minnesota law

Support House File 2159, authored by Representatives Fischer, Rosenthal, Ward, Allen, Hornstein, and Hausman

Support Senate File 1850, authored by Senators Eaton, Hawj, Wiger, Dibble, and Marty

Despite protections under the Endangered Species Act, recreational wolf hunting and trapping are permitted in state law as soon as those protections are no longer in effect. Our Governor and state Department of Natural Resources (DNR) immediately implemented wolf hunting and trapping when wolves previously lost federal protections. The DNR's own online survey showed 79% said "no" to a wolf hunt. Since the Governor and the DNR have not stopped these reckless wolf hunts, we need state lawmakers to repeal this law because the wolf hunt is ready to go into effect when federal protections are dropped or ignored.  “Because recreational wolf hunting and trapping seasons remain in state law, Minnesota wolves are constantly on the brink of being killed as trophies the moment federal protections are lifted. This risk is ever-present, as anti-endangered species factions pressure Congress to remove the wolf’s protection under the Endangered Species Act,” said Howling For Wolves Founder and President Dr. Maureen Hackett.

Eliminate snaring of all wildlife

Support House File 2160, authored by Representatives Fischer, Loon, Kunesh-Podein, Rosenthal, Ward, Slocum, Allen, Dehn, Hornstein, Clark, and Mariani

Support Senate File 1447, authored by Senators Hoffman, Wiger, Dibble, and Bigham

Howling For Wolves supports a ban on the snare to advance common sense trapping reforms. Snaring is a cruel form of trapping using cheap wire nooses to catch animals. Snares kill and maim non-targeted animals including dogs, pheasants, moose, songbirds, and wolves. Snares choke animals to death and cause amputations, disembowelment, and painful injuries. When the wolf is snared around the neck, she suffers a prolonged brain injury with brain swelling and bleeding. Twenty (20) states have outlawed the use of snares to trap animals. This bill allows for an exception for use of snares in authorized predator-control programs.  “Snares, the cruelest method of trapping, are unselective, as both wild and domestic animals get caught in these wire nooses that are supposed to strangle them to death. Many animals, however, are maimed and then die in a prolonged death. It’s time Minnesota joins the 20+ states that have already banned this wasteful and cruel practice of killing wild animals,” said Howling For Wolves Founder and President Dr. Maureen Hackett.

Require permission to trap on private land

Status: Passed the Senate Floor in 2017, now awaiting House vote

Support House File 1924 authored by Representatives Bennett, Smith, Fenton, Fischer, Becker-Finn, Christensen, Rosenthal, Clark, Murphy E., Ward, and Mariani

Support Senate File 1390 authored by Senators Housley, Rosen, Benson, Simonson, and Bigham

If approved, Minnesota will be the 23rd state that requires trappers obtain clear, written permission to set traps on someone else's property. Currently, Minnesota law allows trapping on private property without the landowner's permission. Only agricultural land or land adequately posted with "no trespassing" signs are exempt from trapping access. If signs are missing or not seen, traps can be set legally without the property owner's permission. Howling For Wolves supports requiring written permission to trap on private property. Wisconsin has required permission to hunt and trap on private land since 1995.

Continue support to farmers with preventive nonlethal strategies to avoid wolf conflicts

Status: SUCCESS! Signed into law in 2017! Chief authors of approved legislation: Senator Ruud and Representative Poston

In 2017 a grant program passed into law and now reimburses farmers for equipment, guard animals, and veterinary care of those animals working to prevent wolf-livestock conflicts. This pilot project has earned the support of the agricultural community and now makes Minnesota eligible for federal matching dollars. Nonlethal methods include guard animals, fences, lights, and carcass removal and have been shown to reduce wolf-livestock conflicts. Howling For Wolves supports continuing state funding for effective nonlethal methods to farmers.

Lift the ban on treating injured wolves

Support House File 2672 authored by Rosenthal, Becker-Finn, Fischer, Hornstein, Hausman, Flanagan, and Omar Support Senate File 2396 authored by Dibble, Isaacson, Eaton, and Hawj

The Minnesota DNR currently prohibits Minnesota’s wildlife rehabilitation professionals from providing treatment to a wolf, regardless of the circumstances. This bill allows up to two wildlife rehabilitation centers statewide to treat wolves, provided they have the required permits, ability, and experience. Wolves are too often found suffering with snares wrapped around their legs and muzzles—it should not be a crime to rescue a threatened species from human-caused trauma.

CURRENT STATUS OF THE WOLF IN MINNESOTA
·        Today, Minnesota’s gray wolf has federal protection under the Endangered Species Act and now there is no wolf hunt – thanks to efforts by Minnesotans and people throughout the country.
·        Recently in the last few weeks, anti-endangered species factions in Congress lost their battle to legislatively remove the wolf from federation protections in the FY18 Omnibus Appropriations Bill.
·        On December 19, 2014, a federal court returned the gray wolf in the Great Lakes region and Wyoming to the Endangered Species List. The wolf in Minnesota is listed as “threatened,” meaning that lethal options are used when there are wolf livestock predations verified by government agencies.
·        Wolf-livestock conflicts are low in Minnesota. In 2017, there were 89 verified complaints of wolves at 76 sites in the state. Out of this, 76 calves/cattle were verified to be killed by wolves on farms in Minnesota. There were 199 wolves killed in response.

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Howling For Wolves is a Minnesota-based wolf advocacy organization that formed in 2012 to educate the public about the wild wolf to foster tolerance and to ensure the wolf’s long-term survival. Howling For Wolves opposes recreational wolf hunting and trapping and all wildlife snaring. We currently support the continuation of federal protections for the wolf by the Endangered Species Act. www.HowlingForWolves.org.
 

April 11, 2018