Committee to Abolish Sport Hunting

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Letters to the Editor and Others

Girl Scouts of America is Promoting the Inhumane Killing of Wildlife


Wildlife Watch Inc.
Helping People, Environment, and Wildlife
PO BOX 562, NEW PALTZ, NY 12561
Voice:(845) 256-1400; Fax:(845) 622-7999
e-mail:
wildwatch@earthlink.net
Contact: Joe Miele, Vice President 201-368-8271

Girl Scouts of the USA
420 Fifth Avenue
New York, New York 10018-2798

November 14, 2003

To Whom It May Concern:

Wildlife Watch, Inc. is an animal protection organization that educates the public about the mismanagement of wildlife by state and federal wildlife agencies, and the destruction of wildlife and ecosystems in the name of sport hunting and game management.

It has come to our attention that the Girl Scouts Troop 34 in Fairbanks, Alaska is learning to trap and skin beavers.  The girls are killing the beavers as part of a state flood-management program.  We are shocked that the Girl Scouts of America is promoting the inhumane killing of wildlife as part of its program.  As trapping is a violent, unnecessary offense against wildlife, on behalf of our more than 20,000 members and supporters, we request that the Girl Scouts of America put an immediate halt to such harmful programs.

As stated on the Girl Scouts of America website, the Girl Scout program includes enriching experiences, including "environmental stewardships." The website also states that "Girl Scouting will...Help girls develop sensitivity to others and respect for their needs, feelings, and rights," and "Girl Scouting will...Help girls develop meaningful values and ethics that will guide their actions."  Clearly, teaching young
girls to destroy wildlife is a violation of these statements.  Trapping teaches the disrespect of wildlife, apathy toward the animal's pain and suffering and the warped ethic that if a human has a problem with an animal exercising his or her natural behaviors, killing that animal is an acceptable solution to the problem. 

With the natural world under siege by so many industries and individual who seek to exploit animals and their habitat for personal gain, it is of grave concern that an institution such as the Girl Scouts of America chooses to be a part of the problem rather than the solution for the many abuses that victimize wildlife.  We urge you to discontinue the trapping program conducted by Fairbanks, Alaska Troop 34 and, in its place, enact a program that respects Alaska's beautiful landscape and wildlife.  We look forward to hearing from you.

Sincerely,

Joe Miele

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