Hunters and Wildlife
From Animal Defenders of Westchester (ADOW)

We advocate on all animal protection and exploitation issues, including experimentation, factory farming, rodeos, breeders and traveling animal acts.

Hunters and Wildlife

Letter as published on
April 27, 2018

Thanks to Westchester Rising for printing “Lets Address a Little-Known Law That Promotes Hunting” because only through media can the public become aware of what’s behind state laws that promote the hunting industry and its relation to promoting the fi rearms industry. Hunting is no longer about hunters needing to hunt to feed their families or needing to kill wildlife to feed their families, but today is promoted as “recreational sport” and using wildlife mainly as a state resource to provide state revenue.

Revenue generated from hunting and trapping license sales, as well as the 11 percent federal excise tax on all guns, shells and cartridges, which is in turn redistributed back to states based on the number of hunting licenses states sell – making the promotion of hunting inextricably tied to the promotion of gun sales, as well as states continuing today to immorally view wildlife only as resource like timber or fossil fuel mining and to be annually “harvested” like potatoes or turnips, to keep the revenue fl ow generated annually.

E.g.: the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, Division of Wildlife, is only invested in the “protection” of wildlife as far as setting quotas for how many of a species can be killed in set seasons to insure having enough to harvest tomorrow, following the spring birthing season when the surviving wildlife commodity propagates “itself.” Why states allow the wanton waste of wildlife killing contests, can only be assumed, is a bonus offering-up to license paying hunters as something some of them enjoy.

Unfortunately, restricting who can serve on wildlife advisory boards results in the control of state wildlife agencies by the same special interests they are supposed to regulate. Years ago, it was accepted that primarily hunters, trappers and fi shermen were the only group interested in wildlife decision making. Times change and today there are actually more “non-consumptive” Americans interested in wildlife than hunters and it’s passed time that they, too, have a seat at the table in the wildlife decision making process.

Not to mention the law is also clear that “wildlife is held in trust for all citizens” by the state. This is why as K Blackman states, and to repeat, it is so important that people know that NY Sen. Tony Avella has introduced S3327 (companion Bill A6519) to allow diverse voices to speak on wildlife decisions and that they call their senators and assemblypersons to help get this bill out of the Environmental Conservation Committee (where it has been languishing) and onto the floor to be voted on.

M. Leybra

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