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Michigan Wolves Don’t Need to Die

Monday, February 17, 2014 - 1:45pm
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By ASPCA President and CEO Matt Bershadker

Michigan’s wolves, once reduced to less than a handful by the 1970s, are now squarely in the crosshairs of eager hunters and politicians hoping to destroy as many as they can under a thin, and sometimes fictional, justification of threats to livestock and humans. Before we take lethal aim at these relatively defenseless and innocent animals, there’s good cause for a reality-check, because the reality is there’s simply no good reason to hunt these wolves.

Protected since 1973 under the Endangered Species Act, Michigan wolves were delisted at the start of 2012. By the end of that year, Governor Rick Snyder signed legislation declaring them fair game for hunting. Why? Because…

Because….

Well that’s a tough question to answer. Yes, there are now over 650 wolves in Michigan. But charges that wolves have ventured onto residential porches or daycare centers— or are killing livestock frequently—are not passing the truth test. In some cases, entire stories about wolf incidents are being retracted.

What is true: Michigan farmers, ranchers and other landowners are already permitted to kill wolves to protect livestock or dogs, even though cases of wolves killing livestock are relatively rare. Ranchers are also compensated for livestock losses from wolves.

There has also never been a single record of a wolf attack on a human in Michigan. In fact, wolves are fearful of people, and avoid them (rightfully so).

What’s more, in other Great Lakes states, wolves are often trapped inhumanely, sometimes with steel-jawed traps in which animals can suffer for days before being killed.

This leaves only one motive: killing wolves merely for sport, thrill, out of hatred, and for trophies, which are what brought wolves to the brink of extinction in the first place.

Some Michigan politicians, hell-bent on opening trophy hunting season, will take any legislative or regulatory means necessary to allow the killing of wolves—even if it means going against the will of their own citizens. Michigan residents have fought to protect wolves through referendums, yet influential pro-hunting groups have found new ways to thwart the public’s voice. And it’s time once again to put up a fight to protect their lives.

In March 2013, over a quarter of a million Michigan citizens signed a petition calling for a referendum to undo the call to arms and protect the wolves, as well as to postpone wolf-hunting season until after the 2014 election.

Unmoved, the Michigan legislature gave the unelected Natural Resources Commission (NRC) the authority to determine which animals can be hunted. Being a regulatory body, the NRC’s decisions are not reversible by public vote. With its new power, the NRC approved the wolf hunt in July.

To preserve these animals’ lives, the Michigan public needs to overturn two critical laws in November: PA 520, the law which put wolves on the list of “game species”; and PA 21, which grants the NRC the authority to add animals to that list. These two laws both have the same deadly effect: to kill wolves.

Rejecting these measures will effectively stop the senseless hunting and trapping of wolves, and ensure that important issues about Michigan wildlife will still be influenced by the electoral voice of Michigan voters.

The group Keep Michigan Wolves Protected is collecting signatures from registered Michigan voters to put the PA 21 referendum on the ballot alongside the one related to PA 520, so that both can be overturned and wolves can be protected. The deadline to submit signatures is March 12. If you live and vote in Michigan, I hope you’ll consider adding your name to this cause.

In the end, these wolves are not nearly the threat to humans as some of us humans are to our own humanity. Too often, as is in this case, the truth is deliberately obscured by individuals and institutions guided solely by self-interest and profit.

When that happens, animals are not the only ones who pay the price. We all do.
 

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okami

OMG that is so horibble.
i love absoluly love wolves their my favourite animal and
even though i live in victoria australia i will live in the wilderness of
norway or alaska
I LOVE WOLVES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Michele Matice

I have been an advocator for wolves for some time now, and have posted tirelessly on facebook and any other site much to the chagrin of all who know me!
And for all the time I've spent "reminding" people to vote, I'm proud of my effort for
all the typing required to do this as I DON'T TYPE! I'm a two fingered kinda gal with
an occasional thumb thrown in. I'm sorry! I've drifted from what I wanted to post.
We won in Michigan. No hunting our apex predator without another vote. I'm so happy about this. The wolf is sacred to the Native Americans and as such, should not be hunted for the cost of a license! While I have been along, I will continue to advocate for other states in their fight to keep their wolves from being hunted. I truly hope that all who read this will also: Stand for Wolves.
On another subject, the irony of all this is after I found out we saved our Michigan wolves, I found a mass on a dog I rescued almost 10yrs ago that has become my "baby". I don't know what it is and I don't know when it started. He is quite a hairy fellow so I didn't find it til recently. Where I'm going with this is I had seen an blurb on an animal site about pet veterinary vouchers. I am unfortunately, disabled and live on a limited income. I cant find that information now that I need it! If anyone knows where I can find them or some type of help paying for veterinary costs, I would appreciate it more than you know. I live in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan and unfortunately, there aren't any resources here for this. I
am on facebook and can be found there. Thank you and I Stand with Wolves.

Michele Matice

I have been an advocator for wolves for some time now, and have posted tirelessly on facebook and any other site much to the chagrin of all who know me!
And for all the time I've spent "reminding" people to vote, I'm proud of my effort for
all the typing required to do this as I DON'T TYPE! I'm a two fingered kinda gal with
an occasional thumb thrown in. I'm sorry! I've drifted from what I wanted to post.
We won in Michigan. No hunting our apex predator without another vote. I'm so happy about this. The wolf is sacred to the Native Americans and as such, should not be hunted for the cost of a license! While I have been along, I will continue to advocate for other states in their fight to keep their wolves from being hunted. I truly hope that all who read this will also: Stand for Wolves.
On another subject, the irony of all this is after I found out we saved our Michigan wolves, I found a mass on a dog I rescued almost 10yrs ago that has become my "baby". I don't know what it is and I don't know when it started. He is quite a hairy fellow so I didn't find it til recently. Where I'm going with this is I had seen an blurb on an animal site about pet veterinary vouchers. I am unfortunately, disabled and live on a limited income. I cant find that information now that I need it! If anyone knows where I can find them or some type of help paying for veterinary costs, I would appreciate it more than you know. I live in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan and unfortunately, there aren't any resources here for this. I
am on facebook and can be found there. Thank you and I Stand with Wolves.

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