For the first time in the history of New Jersey,
there is real hope for the wild animals that inhabit our state.
A3764 expands the NJ Fish and Game Council from 11 members to 19,
adding 7 people who "would be members of the public with experience
in environmental protection or other fields relevant to animal
welfare and with a background in the conservation of fish and game."
The bill also "...amends current law to place
the Fish and Game Council within the Department of Environmental
Protection generally, rather than specifically within the Department's
Division of Fish and Wildlife."
And, "The bill would also amend current law
to make all regulatory and policy decisions of the Fish and Game
Council subject to the approval of the Commissioner of environmental
These are stunning changes in that currently the
Council bows to no one and is politically untouchable. If this
bill becomes law, then the Governor can be held directly responsible
for wildlife management decisions.
While all this is ground breaking, what makes this
legislation one of the most powerful anti-hunting bills ever introduced
is the removal of this line: "and for their use and development
for public recreation and food supply" from the statute defining
the Council's mandated duties regarding the treatment of wildlife.
This one line has been used as a legal reason to
kill every animal that the hunters and Council have desired. Without
it, everything changes. From this point on, killing animals for
pleasure would no longer be a legal reason to declare a hunting
season. If A3764 had no other effect than this, then it would still
be the most dramatic change ever to occur to hunting in our state.
I think of rabbits, pheasants, geese, deer, all wildlife
killed by the Council, but especially the coyotes, who have been
subjected to a hunting season since 1997. It was one line in the
game code that condemned these animals and it was this published
in the NJ Register, Aug. 19, 1996:
"The proposed hunting season will allow for
increased recreational use of the coyote resource by New Jersey
sportsmen and women." That's all it took to unleash what has
become a four month long hunt. But if this bill becomes law, it
won't be enough anymore.
Obviously, the hunting community is outraged and
organized to fight this legislation, for they see the damage it
will do to their power base. Therefore, to fight against them and
for the bill, we have formed a new coalition dedicated to making
this bill law: The NJ Wildlife and Environmental Defense Alliance.
We ask you to take action and help us overthrow the
pro- hunting regime that has had sole power over all our wildlife.
The Council has allowed the slaughter of more than 50,000,000 innocent
wild animals during it's rule, all who suffered and died for the
profit and pleasure that is recreational hunting.
For more information, contact:
The NJ Wildlife and Environmental Defense Alliance