Supporters beware: not all wildlife ‘protection’ groups were created equally.People are routinely shocked when they learn that some of the most internationally recognized wildlife organizations actually support hunting and trapping.It’s a bit of a noggin scratcher how a group can claim to ‘protect animals’ when what they really mean is ‘protect some animals’, and it’s downright dishonest to keep a pro-hunting/trapping stance from the public, supporters and donors.
In an effort to promote transparency, we’ve compiled a short list of wildlife organizations that most people don’t realize actually support/endorse the killing of the wildlife they claim to protect.
World Wildlife Fund (WWF):
Perhaps we shouldn’t be surprised, given that the organization was started by a group of trophy hunters, but the WWF states that they are “not an animal welfare organization” and that they “support the hunting and consumption of wild animals provided the harvesting does not threaten the long-term survival of wildlife populations.” They also state that they have “never opposed a sustainable seal hunt in northern or eastern Canada.”
Canadian Wildlife Federation (CWF):
The CWF is a registered animal protection charity, but as the Vancouver Humane Society explains,
“…the CWF comprises twelve provincial organizations, most of which have a major focus on protecting and promoting hunting and fishing. TheAlberta Fish and Game Association(a CWF founding member) states ‘Our passion is to promote…the conservation and utilization of fish and wildlife…’ TheOntario Federation of Anglers and Huntersadvocates for ‘the protection of our hunting traditions’and offers such goodies as a ‘buck fillet knife’ and ‘hunting Christmas ornaments‘. The Newfoundland and Labrador Wildlife Federation states in its bylaws that ‘The purpose of the Federation shall be to promote, foster and protect the interests of the sportsmen of this province.’ The B.C. Wildlife Federation states it is ‘a province-wide voluntary conservation organization of hunters, anglers and recreational shooters.’”
Then why do so many animal lovers support the CWF? Because they’ve gone to great lengths to bury the connection to hunting and trapping organizations, even going so far as to offer symbolic ‘adoptions’ of wolves, black bears and belugas on their website. In fact, the only place you’ll find acknowledgement of their affiliations is through digging around in the Annual Reports (we’ll save you the time, you can find it here.) The CWF is supportive of conservation efforts so that these animals can continue to be hunted and trapped.
The Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC):
The Nature Conservancy of Canada “recognizes the important role hunters play in maintaining the healthy balance of wildlife populations in settled landscapes”. In fact, the NCC allows hunting on their properties. Their stance on trapping is no better either, as their self-proclaimed victories at ‘conserving’ wilderness are constantly celebrated by the hunters and trappers they work with. Most notably, they work closely with Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation (a foundation that “use[s] funding provided by the anglers, hunters, guide outfitters and trappers of British Columbia.”)
Ducks Unlimited Canada (DUC):
Like the WWF, Ducks Unlimited was founded by sport hunters who grew concerned that the loss of wetlands would impact their hunting. So it really should come as no surprise that “[a]ll DUC owned property are open to public access for multiple activities, including hunting.”
In case that isn’t plain enough, they explain that “Ducks Unlimited, Inc. supports the sustainable use and harvest of renewable resources based on sound science. We support waterfowl hunting, when conducted in an ethical and sustainable manner, as a legitimate and acceptable use of a renewable resource.”
Words to watch out for:
Like many of our supporters, you may be shocked to learn that these organizations are talking out of both sides of their mouth, offering up the warm fuzzies about wildlife, while all the while being celebrated by hunting and trapping communities. The public has the right to know what their support and donations are actually being utilized for. So what can you do to guard against being misled in the future? One simple thing is to watch for phrases like “wise use”, “sustainable use” or the term “conservation” when referring to wildlife. These are often euphemisms for human “management” (read: hunting and trapping). And rest assured: APFA is entirely, unapologetically opposed to these inherently violent practices, and believes wildlife should be truly protected.