Beavers are a family animal who play an irreplaceable role in our ecosystems. But that isn’t changing the minds of wildlife managers in Saskatchewan who are allowing a month-long beaver killing contest to go unchallenged.
The contest is encouraging trappers and hunters to bring in the largest volume of heavy beavers as possible – with prizes including cash, fur products, and traps. It is being advertised via local media and on Facebook. There is no central location, though a map posted as a photo indicates drop off points for beaver carcasses (which must include glands and unspoiled pelts, likely for resale) in regions to the east of Regina. A Facebook admin commented that it is open to everyone in the “South Saskatchewan Trapping Area.”
As regions around the world are desperately trying to reintroduce beavers to help combat droughts, and more evidence is piling up showing the pollution-removing power of beavers, this contest baffles the mind. Even without considering the inherently inhumane methodology of beaver trapping, or the harm and suffering it causes beaver family units, this contest is ecological genocide and should be halted immediately.
We are calling on the government of Saskatchewan to intervene and make their province a place where wildlife can thrive and any management is based on sound ecological science – not greed and dark entertainment.
Write to your MLA (if you’re a resident of Saskatchewan find your MLA here) and Herb Cox, Minister of Environment (regardless of where you live firstname.lastname@example.org) , and tell them that this practice must end – for the sake of the environment and ethics.
Minister Herb Cox (or your MLA),
I was disturbed to see that the government of Saskatchewan is allowing a beaver “derby” to go unchallenged from April 1 to May 10 of this year. This type of killing contest is without any merit – it is in fact harmful and potentially devastating to ecosystems, particularly since beavers are a well-known keystone species.
There is no theory of wildlife management or environmental practice that condones this kind of ecological genocide, and it is without any form of ethical review. If beaver conflict is an issue, there are multiple non-lethal measures that can be explored – but in no way can this “derby” be considered responsible.
I urge you to immediately halt wildlife killing contests in Saskatchewan and look to how the world will view our beautiful plains if you do not.
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