NEWS/VIEWS: Alaska, USA: it seems astonishing to me that America’s federal government has introduced new rules which allow the killing of hibernating bears and their cubs in their dens and shooting caribou from speedboats in national parks in Alaska this summer.
The new rules reverse the ban imposed in 2015 by the Obama administration. These hunting practices had been announced as barbaric but Trump has reintroduced them. The hunters use spotlights to dazzle black bears and their cubs. Hunting wolves and coyotes with their pups and hunting bears with dogs using bait to attract them into the range of the hunter, were thought in 2015 to be out of step with the basic ethos and mission of the Park service. What about being out of step with morality?
The Trump administration is engaged in a drive to expand hunting opportunities in the national parks. Present Trump’s first interior secretary, Ryan Zinke, installed an arcade game Big Buck Hunter in the Department’s cafeteria. He signed the order to “increase outdoor recreation and improve the management of game species and their habitat”. Zinke is “himself a passionate hunter, justified himself against critics by saying that he had his best childhood memories of hunting…(Wikipedia). So he’s doing what he likes not what the population of American citizens like?
The National Park Service said that the 2015 rules contradicted state policies. They state that they have never opposed hunting but “this can hardly be considered hunting”. I think that this means that they oppose the new rules.
The president and chief executive of the National Parks Conservation Association, Theresa Pierno, said to The New York Times in an interview, “To be going into dens of hibernating bears and killing cubs and killing mums certainly is, I don’t think, the picture most people have of hunting.”
The director of wildlife conservation for Alaska Department of Fish and Game said that the new rules will allow subsistence hunters to be more successful. These methods are used by subsistence hunters apparently. They hunt for food. He said that the regular hunters do not hunt in this way. President Trump’s son Donald Jr, is an unapologetic advocate of big-game hunting. It looks as though Trump himself is also an advocate.
Comment: I am sure that all animal lovers anywhere on the planet will decry this sort of slaughter. It is not hunting it’s just killing for the love of it but this is denied as mentioned above because it is said that the people who will do this kill for food. That is one of the excuses or justifications spouted out by sport hunters for their cruel behavior.