Saturday, April 27, 2013

Letters: Readers howling mad at wolf-hunting bill

April 23, 2013   
As an anthrozoologist, I am well aware of the powerful link between animal abuse and human cruelty. The horrendous assault on Michiganders’ voting rights evident by the proposition of Senate Bill 288 is just the latest example.

Introduced on April 9 by state Sen. Tom Casperson, R-Escanaba, Senate Bill 288 seeks to allow unelected members of the Natural Resources Commission — and not the voters of Michigan — to determine whether wolves and other animals should be hunted and trapped for trophies after decades of protection. This is an egregious attack not only on Michigan wildlife but also on the fundamental rights of Michigan voters.

As important as the wolf issue is, this debate has now spiraled into one even greater. No longer is this just about wildlife. This is now about voting rights. Do not let this blatant display of political bullying go by unnoticed. Call your representative now and urge him or her to oppose SB 288.
John Di Leonardo

Bill tries to go around petition drive

Why would legislators voluntarily give up authority? Under current law, only the Legislature can add an animal to the list of species to be hunted. Senate Bill 288 would give seven unelected members of the Natural Resources Commission that same right to designate animals as game species. Proponents claim that, if the bill passes, the decision of which animals are hunted would be based on only “sound science” and not on politics. Is it just a coincidence that this bill was introduced less than two weeks after the Keep Wolves Protected campaign, a coalition of Michigan citizens and organizations, turned in more than a quarter million signatures in a referendum to let voters decide whether to hunt wolves? If SB 288 is signed into law, public oversight of the process would be marginalized if not curtailed. This bill is bad for legislators, bad for people and, ultimately, bad for wildlife.

Beatrice M. Friedlander