Alana Stevenson: Do you care about wildlife? Look at your wallets

This comment was written by Alana Stevenson, an animal behaviorist who lives in Charlotte.

Many Vermonters don’t know how to manage Vermont’s wildlife. We tend to think of Vermont as picturesque, green, and progressive. In fact, when it comes to wildlife, animals, and the environment, Vermont lags far behind many other states.

In fact, there are no wild animal protections in Vermont. The minimal restrictions that may exist are rarely imposed. If there is any enforcement, the consequences are minor to non-existent.

How is wildlife managed in Vermont? As it stands now, it is not a democracy at all. The Fish and Wildlife Commissioner—who decides how the Fish and Wildlife Service is to be run, what policies it implements, and how the rules are enforced—is chosen by the governor. Our current governor is a supporter of stalking, trapping and hunting. He has stated publicly that if any trap ban is passed, he will veto it (I hope the legislature overrides the veto if that happens).

The governor also selects the Fish and Wildlife Board. The Fish and Wildlife Council oversees and sets all protections and regulations relating to wild animals. Board members can surpass biologists in the field of fish and wildlife. The members of the Fish and Wildlife Council are a small group of fishermen, fishermen, and fishermen. They are not voted on. They do not have to send their resume. They do not have to have degrees in environmental sciences, wildlife biology, conservation, or any related field. They are not scientists.

The bottom line is that the Vermont Department of Fish and Wildlife is regulating itself. Those who hunt and hunt and make their own rules that they abide by and enforce. They can get a non-stalking audience to adhere to an entirely different set of standards, and they do. These double standards have no basis in science, and are often irrational, as well as immoral.

Here are just some of the current issues with how Vermont Fish & Wildlife works.

  • Wild animals are not given any protection with how they are treated.
  • There is not a single veterinarian on the department staff.
  • The public is not allowed to “touch” or assist “rabies vectors” such as raccoons, skunks, foxes, etc. However, hunters and poachers can attack, beat, hang, and physically whip these same animals – no vaccinations required and no restrictions.
  • If you have a hunting or hunting license, you can hit, stab, and club an animal and then leave that animal helpless and injured.
  • If you work in a wildlife rehabilitation business, you are not allowed to assist the majority of animals in Vermont. You are not allowed to help young or adult skunks, raccoons, foxes, deer, wolf and many other animals – even if you have been vaccinated, and even if you are a vet.

When members of the public find an infected wild animal, they are told by Fish & Wildlife to “let nature take its course”. But most wildlife injuries are man-made. Nature did not cause them. did humans.

Nature did not put an arrow in the head of a deer and then let that deer do its work on its own, nor did it hurt a wild animal by hitting it with a car or cause a baby animal to be orphaned by shooting it or running on it. Mother.

Wildlife rehabilitation workers are overwhelmed with calls from people who want to help injured and orphaned wildlife. If anyone contacts the Fish and Wildlife Service, they are told to either let the animal suffer or to kill it in a barbaric manner, such as by beating, drowning, or gassing.

Rehabilitators are required to report regularly. They have a myriad of restrictions imposed on them by Vermont Fish & Wildlife. If they do not adhere to these restrictions, they will lose their licenses. However, hunters and hunters do not have to report at all, even if they kill, maim, injure or accompany endangered animals.

The public is expected to maintain control of their dogs. Pet dogs are not allowed to chase or attack wildlife and can be shot to chase wildlife. However, hunters can release groups of dogs, without supervision and without restrictions, to hunt and attack wild animals in the forest in which they live. Additionally, hounds can run all year round and training seasons occur when bears, raccoons, bobcats, and other animals tend to their young.

Besides the abhorrent cruelty to animals victimized by hounds, stalking poses a serious safety risk to people. If you and your companion or pets are attacked by hounds, there is nothing you can do. It’s legal in Vermont.

Homeowners and landlords have no say in whether or not fishermen are welcome on their property. Hounds can come in from out of state, run their dogs on your private property, even if posted, and then leave. There are no consequences.

Dogs used for hunting are pawns for recreation. Training is not complicated, because it has been modified in Dogfighting. Hounds are often neglected and live all year round in cages and kennels. They are abandoned and killed when they are no longer useful. It appears that Vermont’s animal protection laws regarding dogs do not apply to hounds.

Vermont game rangers are posting pictures of themselves on social media with the animals they killed. A game watcher in Vermont shared photos of himself smiling with a bloodied wolf surrounded by exhausted hounds. If these are the game rangers who oversee and enforce wildlife protection and hunting regulations, what does that say about how the department is run and operated?

Those who care about animals are shocked by the lack of laws in Vermont and how terribly wild animals are treated. Those who wish to help wildlife are restricted or prohibited from doing so. However, for hunters, hunters, and fishermen, it’s the Wild West and “anything goes.”

The former Wildlife Commissioner has stated publicly that the Fish and Wildlife Service does only what the Vermont legislature allows. The Vermont Legislature caters to the needs of anglers, fishermen, and those who enjoy recreational fishing. The Vermont legislature has not listened to private landowners and homeowners, non-hunters, wildlife breeders, birders, hikers, ethical farmers, or animal advocates, nor does it seem to care about the treatment and protection of wild animals. This needs to change.

The Vermont Fish and Wildlife Council should be abolished entirely, or voted down democratically, and so should the Fish and Wildlife Commissioner. If the governor does not keep up with current science and ethics in the way wildlife is managed and how wild animals are treated, and if he does not care about the rights of property owners who protect themselves from irresponsible poachers and poachers, Vermonter needs a vote in a new governor.

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Tags: Alana StevensonAnd the dogAnd the huntersAnd the huntersAnd the Fairmont Fish and Well LifeAnd the wild animals

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