A movement in Congress targeting grizzly bear and wolves in Alaska in National Wildlife Refuges won a majority of votes. In the cruel resolution, the U.S. House of Representatives voted to legalize the killing of hibernating bears and wolf pups.
The movement backed by the National Rifle Association (NRA) also gives a green light to spotting grizzly bears from aircraft and then shooting them after landing. The callous movement overturns a “Fair Chase” rule, which was initiated under former President Barrack Obama’s tenure.
The resolution is on a path to becoming a law as the House of Representatives voted 225-193. Republican lawmakers did this for the NRA and the Safari Club that has been under criticism by animal rights groups for advocating captive hunting and elite trophy hunting.
The first step toward repealing the ban was slammed by wildlife and conservation groups.
“Alaska’s extreme predator control policies lack scientific support, contravene conservation mandates on national wildlife refuges and defy traditional wildlife management principles,” said Jenny Keatinge, federal lands policy analyst with Defenders of Wildlife.
She further added, “H.J. Res. 69 would cede federal management of iconic wildlife to the state’s misguided program on over 76 million acres of national wildlife refuges that belong to all Americans.”
Obama’s “Fair Chase” rule doesn’t prohibit hunting in wildlife refuges but it limits certain practices that lead to an easy kill for bears and wolves.
According to Bruce Dale, director of the Division of Wildlife Conservation in the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, the purpose of aerial shooting is to curb predator populations in a “highly regulated” way.
A poll shows Alaskans don’t agree with Congress’ idea of legalizing killing methods and consider it cruel.
“Driving down grizzly bear and wolf numbers on refuges is a prescription for drying up tourism and starving the gateway communities that benefit immensely from tourist dollars,” said Wayne Pacelle, president and CEO of the Humane Society of the United States.
The fate of Alaskan Wildlife is now in the hands of the Senate, as only it can steer against the disgraceful resolution. It now just needs a majority of the Senate and a go-ahead from the president.
Twitter users also came forward against the resolution.
Incl HR 69, reverse rule against killing mother bear w cub. Sad! Embarrassing! https://t.co/aBh0ZjO1Qd— Scott H. Andrews (@scotts_screed) February 17, 2017
The U.S. House has just given the OK for trophy hunters to kill HIBERNATING BEARS AND WOLF PUPS in their dens. C'mon! Get angry.— Elissa Sursara (@ElissaSursara) February 17, 2017
Banner/Thumbnail Credit: Reuters