Update: North Carolina Golf Club Ditches Steel-Jaw Traps!


As you know, Cowan’s Ford Golf Club in Stanley, North Carolina, was reportedly setting steel-jaw traps to catch foxes who have made their home on its grounds. Good news—management has now removed these devices! Thank you to Cowan’s Ford for its compassionate decision and to everyone who took the time to make their voices heard. Please take a moment to check out our other urgent alerts to speak up for animals who still need your help.

According to stunned eyewitnesses, Cowan’s Ford Golf Club is using horrific steel-jaw traps to get rid of an unwanted fox family residing on its grounds. Reportedly, several terrified animals have already been cruelly ensnared by these barbaric contraptions and were hauled away screaming. Distressing footage of a fox apparently trapped at the golf club can be viewed below.

The victims of steel-jaw traps (including the rubber-coated variety) often sustain serious injuries in their frantic attempts to escape—some have even chewed or twisted off their own limbs. These devices are considered so inhumane that they’ve been banned in 88 countries and several states. Trapping also tears wild families apart, leaving orphaned young to starve, while posing a definitive risk to companion animals as well as “non-target” wildlife, including protected species. And lethal initiatives are ineffective methods of eliminating animals from an area, as survivors simply breed in greater numbers, replacing lost family members, while other foxes move in from outlying areas to make use of the still-available resources.



Consider allowing bait for hunting gray wolf during specific seasons

Develop rules to allow use of bait to hunt wolves in game management units and seasons to be set by Commission proclamation


The purpose of this rulemaking is to consider changes to the allowed use of bait for hunting gray wolf. Currently gray wolf may be taken incidentally to permitted black bear baits, where hunting seasons are open for both black bear and wolf, but big game rules do not allow use of bait specific to hunting wolf. The Commission allows or prohibits use of bait for black bear on a game management unit basis in big game season proclamations. There may be management circumstances for which the Commission may want to allow use of bait for hunting wolf at times and places where bait use is not allowed or seasons are not open for black bear, such as winter hibernation time, or to otherwise adjust use of bait specific to hunting gray wolf. The rulemaking may consider the elements defined in IDAPA for use of bait for hunting black bear, such as timing, placement, type of bait, and marking of site location, as well as other elements.

Notice of Intent Filing

Notice of Intent Posted:
Monday, June 5, 2017

Supporting Documentation

Attachment Size
PDF icon rev-rule-hunt-wolves-w-bait-06262017.pdf 236.8 KB


Comment Period:
7/5/2017 to 7/26/2017

Contact Information

Thank you for taking the time to create a comment. Your input is important. Any information (e.g., personal or contact) you provide for this rule may be publicly disclosed and searchable on the Internet and in a paper docket. The rulemaking record is a public document and is subject to the Public Records Act (Title 74, Chapter 1, Idaho Code). These fields asking for your name, city, and email are required. We use this information to reach you for clarifications or updates and to understand the demographics of the online comments. Please see our privacy policy and the terms and conditions.
Primary Contact:

Jon Rachael
State Game Manager
Idaho Fish and Game
600 S. Walnut
PO Box 25
Boise, Idaho 83707
(208) 334-2920
Fax (208) 334-2114

Trophy hunter slays son of Cecil

July 21, 2017 
by Wayne Pacelle, President HSUS

This week, Vietnam agreed to the rescue and relocation of 1,000 bears who live on bear farms. These Asiatic sun bears are held in deplorable settings and “milked” in extraordinarily inhumane ways for their bile (used in tonics and in traditional Chinese medicine). The shut-down of this industry is a big moment in the global campaign to protect these predators, and we salute the Vietnamese government and also Animals Asia Foundation, which drove the outcome. We hope this policy advance creates more pressure on China to replicate the policy.

In Africa, on the other hand, there’s jarring news on the treatment of predators. There’s been an eerily familiar slaying in Zimbabwe: a trophy hunter shot and killed Xanda the lion, whose primary range consisted of a portion of Hwange National Park. Xanda was the son of Cecil, who was also killed two summers ago after a hunting guide lured him outside of Hwange as a set-up for his fee-paying client.

Xanda was four years old when Minnesota dentist Walter Palmer shot Cecil with an arrow, wounding him and allowing him to suffer through the night before finishing him with a second shot approximately 10 hours later. No one knew what would become of Cecil’s progeny, since trophy hunting disrupts social relationships among family members. Lions live in communities where males sometimes work together to protect their mates and cubs; when a dominant male is lost, new male coalitions may seize the moment and try to take over prides. When they succeed, they are known to kill the cubs to ensure the females continue only their lineage. Xanda survived the loss of his father and grew into a mature male who mated and had cubs of his own.

The professional hunter who led his client to kill Xanda handed over his collar to Oxford University biologists, who were tracking Xanda. His death has the potential to disrupt the pride again. What will become of Xanda’s cubs, Cecil’s grandchildren? Will they, too, share the same fate as their father and their grandfather?

The scientists at Oxford University, who have been studying the lions in Hwange for decades, have data to show that lion hunting is not sustainable in the Hwange area, and have pressed for lower hunting quotas and, more recently, a no-hunting buffer zone, around the park. The scientists’ data reveal that trophy hunters are exploiting the lions who live most of their lives in the park. They lure the lions from the park, baiting them with prey species who are strung up in trees as a setup for the kill.

Treating our national parks as incubators for trophy animals is also happening in the United States. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is aligned with state fish and wildlife officials in Wyoming, Idaho, and Montana, and with the trophy hunting lobby to delist grizzlies so that hunters can shoot them outside of Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks. And a recent study in and around the Yukon-Charley Rivers National Preserve showed massive mortality among wolves who spent most of their time in the preserve but then occasionally wandered outside, where they were shot or trapped. Conversely, a study of wolves in the United States, in Denali and Yellowstone national parks, found that sightings of wolves increased significantly in the years that trapping and hunting buffer zones were created around Denali and when no hunting was permitted in Wyoming.

Throughout all of Africa, perhaps as few as 20,000 lions survive – their number halved in the last two decades. Trophy hunting is, without question, one of the greatest threats to lions. Most lion trophy hunters are American and until last year, these Americans imported an average of nearly 600 lions a year into the United States. That stopped when, in response to a petition from The HSUS and Humane Society International to list the lions under the Endangered Species Act, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) prohibited lion trophy imports, including imports from Zimbabwe. Now the USFWS may be buckling to Safari Club International, which is clamoring to resume such imports. Our best tribute to Xanda right now would be to ensure that we keep this ban in place. American trophy hunters should create no more mayhem, and must stop shooting lions as a headhunting exercise, including lions living in the supposed, protected confines of national parks.


New cougar and bear trapping seasons start in fall of 2017


JULY 5, 2017 09:14 AM

The Government of Saskatchewan has established trapping seasons for cougars and black bears in select wildlife management zones in Saskatchewan’s farmland.

“Both cougar and bear populations have been expanding into the southern portion of Saskatchewan,” Environment Minister Scott Moe said.  “Establishing additional trapping seasons will better manage these growing populations and help reduce human and livestock encounters for both species.”

The cougar season is trapping only; hunting free-ranging cougars is prohibited.  The season will open on October 15 and close on March 31.  Reporting is mandatory for all cougars harvested.  This information will help the ministry determine the impact of this new harvest on the long-term sustainability of the species.

The number of incidental captures of cougar by Saskatchewan trappers has increased.  Formalizing a season will encourage more trapping in cougar areas and will allow trappers to retain and sell their catch.  Limiting harvest to the use of traps or snares will help ensure that an annual harvest is maintained without creating a conservation threat to the species.

“We have been lobbying for a bear trapping season in southern Saskatchewan for several years,” Saskatchewan Trappers Association President Mike Keen said.  “The Saskatchewan Trappers Association fully supports the new fur seasons for both black bear and cougar, which will help to curb increasing populations and improve public safety, while providing additional harvesting opportunities for trappers.”

A black bear opportunity is being offered for southern fur conservation licence (SFCA) holders.  Black bears may be trapped in wildlife management zones open to bear hunting (WMZs 30, 34 to 50, 52 to 55 and 68).  The season begins September 10 and runs to May 31 of the following year.  This is a trapping (leg snare) season only and hunting free-ranging bears will not be allowed under a SFCA fur licence.

“Allowing bear trapping in these zones will provide an additional harvest opportunity,” Moe said.  “Trapping is viewed as an appropriate way to harvest bear in southern Saskatchewan, and will provide additional revenue for south Saskatchewan trappers.”

The bear trapping season in the northern fur conservation area (NFCA) has been extended.  Outside of provincial parks or recreation sites, the trapping season continues to June 30.

Black bears are found in areas containing suitable habitats across the southern portion of the province, and are increasingly involved in public safety or livestock predation incidents.

Fur licences for the SFCA are $40, and $20 for the NFCA.


Thursday, July 6th 2017, 1:42 pm PDTThursday, July 6th 2017, 8:40 pm PDT


HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) –

A former Punahou School student was sentenced Thursday to 45 days behind bars for slaughtering protected birds at Kaena Point in 2015.

Christian Gutierrez was also sentenced to one year probation and ordered to do 200 hours of community service, and was remanded to custody after the sentencing hearing.

“The people have every right to be angry and disgusted at my behavior,” Gutierrez said. “I am ashamed of myself.”

Prosecutors and wildlife conservationists had been pushing for one year in jail for Gutierrez, calling the crime savage.

Authorities accused Gutierrez and two other young people in the killings of at least 15 Laysan albatrosses at Kaena Point Natural Reserve.

But on Thursday, state Department of Land and Natural Resources Chairwoman Suzanne Case said the sentence sent a strong message to the community.

“The fact that this man will serve jail time and community service recognizes the severity of these killings and the terrible impact it will have for years to come on the albatross breeding colony at Kaena Point,” Case said.

“Jail time, combined with the fine, sends a very strong message to the community that there is no tolerance for abuse, destruction, or killing of Hawaii’s unique and precious wildlife – whether it’s albatross, monk seals, turtles, or anything else.”

In March, Gutierrez pleaded no contest to animal cruelty, theft and other charges.

His defense attorney had asked the judge to defer acceptance of the plea, which would allow Gutierrez to avoid a conviction if he stays out of trouble for a specified amount of time.

Two years ago, Gutierrez and a group of friends from Punahou drove to Kaena Point to go camping.

While they were there, at least 15 Laysan albatrosses were bludgeoned to death with a bat and machete and shot at with a pellet gun, according to prosecutors. The youths cut off the birds’ legs, tied the dead birds together and threw them into the ocean. Nests and eggs were left smashed.

Defense attorney Myles Breiner, who represents Gutierrez, said because the college student was 18 when he was charged, he’s had to bear the brunt of the public backlash calling for punishment of privileged teens.

Two other cases are being handled in confidential juvenile court proceedings, he said.

Gutierrez recently completed his sophomore year studying film at NYU.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Copyright 2017 Hawaii News Now. All rights reserved.

Man Who Shot Caged Cougar Loses Hunting Rights


A Redmond man who shot and killed a cougar in a Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife research trap has been barred from hunting in the state of Washington for two years.

| May 29, 2017, at 12:45 p.m.

Man Who Shot Caged Cougar Loses Hunting Rights

SEATTLE (AP) — A Redmond man who shot and killed a cougar in a Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife research trap has been barred from hunting in Washington for two years.

The Seattle Times reported (http://bit.ly/2ry1LdX ) Saturday that the WDFW has stripped Ronald D. Wentz of his hunting privileges for the 2016 incident.

Wentz had been fined $1,300, but the WDFW made the move to take away his privileges after receiving a note from the Washington Director of The Humane Society of the United States, Dan Paul, urging the state to permanently ban Wentz from hunting again in the state.

WDFW officials opted for a two-year ban because Wentz had a valid hunting license and cougar tag.

Wentz declined to comment on the case and did not appeal the hunting ban.

Endangered vaquita marina porpoise could be extinct by 2018: WWF

The vaquita marina, a tiny porpoise native to Mexico, could be extinct by next year if urgent action including a ban on gillnets is not taken, the World Wildlife Fund for Nature warned.

Fewer than 30 of the rare mammals (Phocoena sinus) still live in the wild, all in the upper Gulf of California, the WWF said in a report Monday.

The vaquita population has plummeted 90 percent in less than six years, down from 250 in 2011.

“If we don’t do something today, the vaquita could be extinct by 2018,” said Maria Jose Villanueva, director of strategy and science for WWF Mexico. “Losing it would be like losing a piece of Mexico.”

Villanueva told reporters that the only known threat to the survival of the vaquita—”little cow” in Spanish—are gillnets, long walls of netting hung vertically that trap fish by the gills when they swim through.

The nets are meant to illegally catch totoaba, an endangered fish about the same size of the vaquita.

Deadly gillnets

Smugglers ship dried totoaba swim bladders to China, where they fetch up to $20,000 per kilo. Totoaba bladder is consumed in soup or used for medicinal purposes.

Gillnets also catch a large number species that are not targeted. The WWF says the nets accidently kill some 700,000 marine mammals and birds around the world each year.

Some 374 gillnets have been removed in the Gulf of Mexico between February 2016 and April 2017, but the vaquita population continues to drop—six have been reported to have died this year alone, Villanueva said.

Nets up to two kilometers long have been removed in the area, Villanueva said.

The Mexican government’s two-year ban on gillnet use is set to expire in less than two weeks.

Mexican environmental authorities and conservation groups are working on an emergency plan expected to begin around September to move the vaquitas to a “temporary sanctuary” where they can safely reproduce.

The WWF experts support the measure, despite reservations.

‘Desperate measure’

“We see it as a desperate measure,” said Jorge Rickards, the interim director general of WWF Mexico.

“We consider this a high-risk measure because nothing like this has ever been done before,” he said, fearing the death of even a single vaquita.

Rickards called on the Mexican government for “an urgent plan of action” that includes a permanent gillnet ban in the Gulf of California.

He said the government must also help area residents whose livelihoods depend on fishing.

The Gulf of California, which was officially listed as a World Heritage site in 2005, is a source for half of Mexico’s fisheries production.

A broad array of species live in the area, including over one third of the world’s marine mammal species, five of the world’s seven sea turtle species, and almost 900 fish species, the WWF says.

In its report, titled “Vanishing Vaquita: saving the world’s most endangered marine mammal,” the WWF called on the government to clamp down on the totoaba trade, and to commit to a plan “for the recovery of the vaquita within its natural habitat that includes specific population increases and timelines.”

The conservation group also called on the US and Chinese governments to collaborate with Mexico “to halt the illegal fishing and trade of totoaba” by increasing efforts to “intercept and halt the illegal transport, entry and sale of totoaba products.”

Read more at: https://phys.org/news/2017-05-endangered-vaquita-marina-porpoise-extinct.html#jCp

Praise Country for Ending Seal Slaughter


Target: Ola Elvestuen, Member of Norwegian Parliament

Goal: Thank Norway for ending government subsidies to support seal slaughter, thereby sparing countless lives.

For centuries, numerous boats have ventured up north from Norway to kill seals for personal profit. However, this marks the first year that not a single Norwegian boat set sail to kill innocent seals.

Seals are incredibly social animals and can live up to 30 years in the wild. However, many seals do not make it to this age or even to adulthood, as they have traditionally been shot or clubbed to death for their fur, meat and blubber. Thankfully, Norway is now one less country participating in these cruel practices. Sign this petition and thank Norway for no longer supporting seal slaughter, thereby sparing countless animals from unnecessary pain and death.


Dear Mr. Elvestuen,

This is the first hunting season where not one single Norwegian boat set sail to kill seals for their fur, meat and blubber. I was ecstatic to hear this news.

Seals are incredibly social, unique, and intelligent animals, and for centuries these innocent creatures have been shot or clubbed to death for personal gain. Thankfully, Norway has cut government subsidies for seal slaughter, which has helped put an end to this cruel practice.

I would like to extend my gratitude to the Norwegian government for no longer supporting this inhumane slaughter. Thanks to your actions, the lives of countless seals will be spared.


[Your Name Here]


In a victory for animal rights activists — and canines — China may have banned dog meat sales at festival


BEIJING — Chinese authorities have banned dog meat sales at the country’s
notorious Yulin dog-eating festival, two U.S. nonprofit organizations
reported Wednesday in what animal rights advocates are calling a victory.

The annual festival in Yulin — a prefecture-level city in southwest China’s
Guangxi region — has in recent years emerged as a lightning rod for animal
rights activism, granting the sleepy city a degree of global infamy.
Activists say thousands of dogs — some of them abducted pets — are
slaughtered at the festival each year; they’re served alongside lychees and
grain alcohol to mark the summer solstice.

The Yulin government has banned the city’s dog meat vendors from selling
the meat for one week starting June 15, the U.S.-based Duo Duo Animal
Welfare Project and Humane Society International (HSI) said in a joint
statement, citing unidentified local contacts. The 10-day festival is
slated to begin June 21.

“Even if this is a temporary ban, we hope this will have a domino effect,
leading to the collapse of the dog meat trade,” Andrea Gung, executive
director of the Duo Duo Animal Welfare Project, said in the statement. “I
have visited Yulin many times in the last two years. This ban is consistent
with my experience that Yulin and the rest of the country are changing for
the better.”

The organizations attributed the change to Yulin’s new Communist Party
secretary, Mo Gongming, who reportedly wants to improve Yulin’s national
and international image. Penalties, they said, include a fine of up to
$14,500 and jail time.

While there have been previous attempts to curtail sales of dog meat, this
is believed to be the first time that the government had threatened
concrete penalties.

The report could not be independently verified. A man who answered the
phone at the Yulin municipal government, has never openly supported the
festival, denied that it even existed. “There’s never been a dog meat
festival in Yulin,” said the man, who only gave his surname, Luo. (The
festival’s existence is well-documented).

People in parts of southern and northeastern China have prized dog meat for
centuries, considering it a delicacy with “heating qualities” that make it
comforting on cool days.

Yet, as China becomes wealthier — and more exposed to foreign ideas — its
attitudes toward dogs are shifting. Dogs have become popular pets among the
country’s burgeoning middle and upper classes; in major cities, it’s common
to see poodles, Pekingese, golden retrievers and huskies bouncing through
public parks, some dressed by their owners in doggie clothing.

Peter Li, a China policy specialist at HSI, said that the festival’s dog
meat sales have dropped each year since 2014, but will probably continue
despite the ban.

“It won’t be public resistance — like, ‘you don’t want us to sell, but we
still will’ — but they’ll probably do it secretly,” he said. “They’ll
probably sell it at night, or they’ll supply dog meat to restaurants. They
just won’t sell it at the market.”

He added that the organization received “oral notice” of the ban from local
dog meat traders, as well as three visitors to a local market. He had not
seen documentation of the ban.

Most Chinese people desire an end to the controversial festival, China’s
official New China News Agency reported in June 2016, citing a survey.

“It is embarrassing to us that the world wrongly believes that the brutally
cruel Yulin festival is part of Chinese culture,” Qin Xiaona, director of
the Capital Animal Welfare Association charity, a Chinese animal welfare
group, told the agency. “It isn’t.”

But the Yulin government is reluctant to completely shut the festival down,
said an employee of a Chinese animal rights group that has been
communicating with local officials for years — they consider it a proud
local tradition. The employee requested anonymity as her organization, like
many activist groups in China, is under close scrutiny from national

Although the officials have no problem considering cats and dogs as
sustenance, she added, some still oppose the festival, as its mass, public
slaughter of dogs violates food safety regulations.

Hollywood celebrities including Matt Damon, Joaquin Phoenix and Rooney Mara
have pleaded for China to ban the festival. Last year, several animal
rights groups, including Duo Duo and HSI, amassed 11 million signatures on
a petition calling for its cancellation. Carrie Fisher, the late actress of
“Star Wars” fame, helped deliver it to China’s embassy in London.

“These poor dogs need us to fight for them,” she said at the time,
accompanied by her beloved French bulldog, Gary. “Every single one of them
is as precious as my dear Gary, every one of them is someone’s best friend.”

*The New York Times contributed.*

We Need to Stop Denmark Before They Kill Again.

From Sea Shepherd’s Captain Paul Watson,

Please Sign Our Petition to Uphold European Law Against Denmark’s Collaboration With the Faroese to Unlawfully Slaughter Pilot Whales and Dolphins.

On May 8th, with the formal support of 27 Members of the European Parliament, Sea Shepherd Nederland officially submitted a request to the European Commission (EC) to start infringement proceedings against Denmark for facilitating the slaughter of pilot whales and other cetaceans in the Faroe Islands. SIGN the petition and ask the EC to take action: bit.ly/2rdZEM0

In events known as ‘grindadráps’, Danish officials, including police, navy, and customs representatives, assist the Faroese by ensuring they can drive hundreds of pilot whales and other cetaceans into bays, where, while screaming in terror, their spinal columns are ruthlessly sliced, filling the bays full of blood.
#OpBloodyFjords #OpGrindini #OpGrindStop

Sea Shepherd is pressuring the European Commission to end the Faroe Island marine mammal slaughter! (3483 signatures on petition)