Animal welfare activists in the United States continue to condemn the signing of new legislation that rescinds the Alaska National Wildlife Refuges Rule.
The House Joint Resolution 69 (HJR69), signed into law by President Donald Trump in April, overturns an Obama-era federal law and paves the way for hunters to once again go after bears, wolves and other predators in national wildlife refuges across Alaska.
The Refuge Rule was enacted to protect carnivores on Alaska’s refuges from the state’s Board of Game (BOG) predator management programme. The programme allowed for the killing of bears with cubs, and wolves with pups, as well as the hunting of animals from aircraft, among other things. This was part of the BOG’s goal of maintaining moose, caribou and/or deer populations at levels for human consumption. However, the programme also opened the way for controversial killing practices that outraged animal welfare activists who fought hard for the passage of the Alaska National Wildlife Refuges Rule.
“We are saddened to know about this turnaround in the policies and laws of the United States,” said Animal Survival International (formerly Political Animal Lobby) spokesman, David Barritt. “We cannot sanction the killing of wild animals and especially apex predators that play such a crucial role in forest and mountain ecosystems.”
“We see this as a step backwards for the American people and a setback for the animal welfare lobby as a whole. We assure our supporters that ASI will continue to push back against laws like this one that lead to untold pain and hardship for wild animals.”