Thursday, January 8, 2015

California’s New Farm Animal Welfare Law/The Killing of the Grand Canyon Wolf

California’s New Farm Animal Welfare Law

As Mark Bittman rightly notes, California’s new farm animal welfare law presages what is coming for all farm animal industries nationally (“Hens, Unbound,” column, Jan. 1).

The tiny cages and crates that confine about 90 percent of laying hens and more than 80 percent of gestating sows are both physically and mentally tormenting for the animals involved.
Physically, the muscles and the bones of the animals atrophy from lack of use. Mentally, they go insane from boredom and stress, just as our dogs or cats would if they were kept in tiny crates or carriers for their entire lives.

There is no difference between cruelty to a pig or a dog or a hen or a cat, and so the sooner we relegate these awful devices to the dustbin of history, the better.


Washington, Jan. 1, 2015

The writer is director of advocacy and policy for Farm Sanctuary, a national farm animal protection group.

A gray wolf. (photo:

The Killing of the Grand Canyon Wolf

By Ralph Maughan, The Wildlife News
04 January 14

Wolves continue to pass through and perhaps live in Utah. A small three-year old female, weighing 70 pounds, has been shot by a coyote hunter near the southern end of the Tushar Mountains of south central Utah. This was about 5 miles east of the town of Beaver, Utah. Earlier in December a photo was taken of what looked like a wolf as it was crossing Utah Highway 14 to the east of Cedar City. That is in the mountains of the Markagunt Plateau about 50 miles south of where this wolf was shot.

The traditional excuse for shooting the wolf was given. The shooter said he thought it was a coyote. This usually means a fine of $500 or less if there is any prosecution at all because there will be no federal prosecution due to the U.S. Justice Department’s “McKittrick Policy.” This policy is 16 years old. The Justice Department refuses to go to court against those persons who kill endangered wildlife unless it can be proved that they knew they were targeting a protected animal.

Utah is a state with a new coyote bounty. The state gives a $50 bounty for coyotes. The bounty was reestablished in the state with the passage of the Mule Deer Preservation Act. That was about two years ago. In its second year about 7000 coyotes were bountied.

Kirk Robinson, head of the Western Wildlife Conservancy said in Salt Lake City, “This is a very sad day for wolf conservation and for Utah, . . . . “All competent wildlife biologists already know that coyote hunting, including our state bounty program, is ineffective, and therefore a waste of money — and now we see that it is also a threat to other wildlife and to wolf recovery.”

Some conservation groups think this was the wolf that recently showed up on the North Rim of the Grand Canyon, but that was 200 miles to the south. It is likely that wolves wander fairly frequently into Utah and through the state. There is some evidence they establish a pack every so often, but that has never been confirmed. Many wolf reports are made in Utah. Over the years two wolves have been confirmed killed in Utah or right on the Idaho/Utah border. “Limpy,” the famous Yellowstone wolf, migrated to near Morgan, Utah were he was caught in a coyote trap in 2002. Wolf manager Mike Jimenez came south and picked up the wolf and released him near Grand Teton National Park. Limpy soon made it back to Yellowstone’s northern range.

It is now obvious that long range dispersal of wolves from the Northern Rockies is fairly common.

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"The master class has always declared the wars; the subject class has always fought the battles. The master class has had all to gain and nothing to lose, while the subject class has had nothing to gain and everything to lose--especially their lives." Eugene Victor Debs

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