In a shocking announcement, the Ministry of Environment (MOE) for Saskatchewan stated they would be opening a limited hunting and trapping season on wolves to deplete the standing population.
In a quiet press release last week, the MOE stated that from September 15, 2014 thru March 31, 2015, Wildlife Management Zone (WMZ) 49 would have 100 licenses for the killing of wolves made available.
“Saskatchewan Crop Insurance has reported an unusually high number of livestock predation claims in the Weekes area, and wolves are suspected as the cause in most cases,” Environment Minister Scott Moe said in the release. “Although the ministry supports licensed trapping as the primary control method for managing wolf populations, we hope the wolf hunt pilot will help address and alleviate the problem in this specific area.”
This is totally unacceptable.
The persecution of wolves will not control their population. In fact, it could lead to the explosion of other animals’ populations – a phenomenon known as trophic cascading. Further, the killing of wolves – particularly when it’s indiscriminate in the manner of trapping – destroys the social units that they need.
Wolves learn at the heels of their parents and pack. When those adults are removed by hunting or trapping, wolf pups must learn to forage for themselves – and that can lead to conflict in itself.
When there are alternate solutions available for farmers – and there are many – there is absolutely no need for this kind of political lunacy.
Simple solutions include:
- Livestock guardian dogs;
- Automated lights;
- Automated sprinklers/water cannons; and,
- Good animal husbandry practices (taking livestock indoors at night, not leaving them to pasture alone, etc.).
The Ministry of Environment and its political leader, Scott Moe, must be told that killing innocent wolves is not a solution. We’ve been down this path before – and parts of North America are still struggling to recover after predator genocides took place. You need only to look to Algonquin Park to see what can happen when wolves are removed – and finally reintroduced.
Dear Minister and Member (insert name),
I am writing you to ask that you immediately halt the pilot wolf hunt taking place in WMZ 49. The killing of wolves is not an effective means of population control, nor will it solve the issues facing landowners in the province.
Successful, co-existence methods that include programs such as livestock guardian dogs, fencing, automated devices and proper animal husbandry, will be much more effective in the long-term. The killing of wolves by traps or hunters is inherently cruel and ignorant of the basic need for predators in our ecosystem. Simply look to Algonquin Park to see how the removal of wolves devastated the ecosystem – and only their reintroduction began to save it.
As a voter and taxpayer, I demand that this program be ended immediately and humane, sustainable, long-term solutions considered.
(Your name and address).
Please forward any correspondence you receive from your MLA or the Ministry to firstname.lastname@example.org.