Trump Postpones Decision on Allowing Import of Elephant Parts

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/nov/17/trump-elephant-parts-import-zimbabwe

Friday 17 November 2017 21.36 EST

Amid backlash over move to end ban, president says he will delay administration action ‘until such time as I review all conservation facts’

GuardianElephant

Donald Trump said that he would delay his administration’s decision to allow the importing of elephant body parts from Zimbabwe “until such time as I review all conservation facts” in a tweet Friday evening.
The postponement came just one day after the US Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) indicated that it would reverse an Obama administration ban on importing elephant hunting trophies from Zimbabwe and Zambia.

The agency said Thursday that the decision “will help protect wild elephants for future generations” because the money generated by US big-game hunters seeking trophies helps fund conservation efforts in many African countries.
Many conservationists opposed the decision, however, arguing that the Trump administration was pandering to big-game hunters.

“I’m shocked and horrified, but this is the road this administration is taking,” the primatologist Jane Goodall told the Guardian on Friday, before Trump’s announcement of the postponement. “One by one, they are undoing every protection for the environment that was put in place by their predecessors.
“It’s very rare that money raised by legal trade in ivory or rhino husks gets out to protect the animals,” Goodall added. “It goes into the pockets of the safari outfits that take the clients, or goes into the hands of corrupt government officials.”
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Goodall cited Trump’s stance on drilling for oil in the Arctic national wildlife refuge and on the listing of endangered species as other areas of concern in his administration’s environmental record.
“President Trump and I have talked and both believe that conservation and healthy herds are critical,” Ryan Zinke, the secretary of the interior, said in a statement Friday evening. “As a result, in a manner compliant with all applicable laws, rules, and regulations, the issuing of permits is being put on hold as the decision is being reviewed.”
Elephant populations in Africa have declined precipitously over the past 15 years, despite crackdowns on poaching and the ivory trade.
The Obama administration implemented the ban on importing elephant trophies from Zimbabwe in 2014 due to a lack of information about the status of the country’s population and conservation program. African elephants are protected under the US Endangered Species Act.
On Thursday, FWS said its decision to lift the ban was based on “more than two years of extensive assessments”.
But the agency raised concerns about its motivation by announcing the policy change at the African Wildlife Consultative Forum in Tanzania – an event co-hosted by the hunting rights group Safari Club International (SCI). SCI had joined the National Rifle Association in a court challenge to the 2014 ban. Both groups praised the FWS reversal on Thursday.
Trump’s two adult sons, Donald Trump Jr and Eric Trump, are both big-game hunters. Donald Trump Jr has been photographed with the corpse of a elephant, holding its severed tail in his hand.
Ed Royce of California, the Republican chairman of the House committee on foreign affairs, on Friday criticized the decision to lift the ban, calling it the “wrong move at the wrong time”.
Zimbabwe is in the midst of considerable political upheaval, after the army seized power from 93-year-old Robert Mugabe this week. Mugabe has ruled the country for 37 years.
The Associated Press and Edward Helmore contributed reporting.

Bryce Casavant: Aiming for Change & Grizzly Bear Management & Conservation Officer Service

http://www.brycecasavant.ca/2017/11/01/aiming-change-update-regarding-grizzly-bear-management-bc/

The deadline for the public consultation process on the Grizzly Bear hunt is tomorrow (November 2nd 2017). During the month long window for public comments the Auditor General (AG) released ( see in Bears Matter Blog postings) their audit report pertaining to BC’s management of Grizzly Bears. This blog and the PDF link below,- http://www.brycecasavant.ca/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/In-Defence-of-a-Fallen-King-formal-submission.-1.pdf are my submissions to the MFLNRORD public consultation process regarding Grizzly Bear management.

The PDF file referenced below is an updated version of my previous work In Defence of a Fallen King which was written as a submission to the AG during her investigation. The update includes my thoughts on two points raised within the AG report, and maintains my critique of BC’s so called “scientific review” under the previous government administration.

The two points that I will focus on are, 1) the independence of internal reviews conducted by consultants, and 2) the Conservation Officer Service and its relationship to species conservation. Within this update I reference my recently released essay To Conserve and Protect and provide a preliminary look at a soon to be released technical report pertaining to public confidence levels and wildlife law enforcement in BC. Some main take away points from this update are:

I recommend that a special conflict of interest or ethics guideline/policy be developed for public servants engaged with work on the grizzly bear file or in the development of formal BC policy on this issue.
I maintain that providing additional funding and officers into the current COS model is not advisable due to internal cultural issues and processes which I addressed in my recent essay To Conserve and Protect.
I argue that the model of the COS needs to change before overall public confidence can be increased and maintained.
I contend that it is not realistic to think that an officer who is a licensed hunter, and in some cases a trophy hunter himself/herself, can avoid a reasonable apprehension of bias when deciding to kill a grizzly bear.
In reference to the BCCOS involved in funding allocation to WildSafe BC – I posit that from a law enforcement and integrity perspective, it is problematic to have armed officers that are licensed hunters, in some cases trophy hunters, who are also members of the BCWF and overseeing/making recommendations for government funding to BCWF wildlife programs and their affiliates. This, in my view, is a conflict of interest for law enforcement. For this reason, I would recommend an independent panel be responsible for directing, monitoring, and assessing/evaluating the programs that the government funds. The COS should not be responsible or involved.
In the final portion of my update I state that my soon to be released report, Law Gone Wild, will show that 1 in 5 British Columbians will have an interaction with either the COS or RCMP over a wildlife concern, some of these interactions will be grizzly bears. I will argue that the fact 20% of the BC population is involved in calling enforcement agencies for wildlife issues means that public trust in 20% of the BC population can be influenced by a single officer’s actions, at a single moment in time, and when handling a single animal. All managers and politicians should take this fact very seriously. The public’s confidence in the agency and officer’s responding is paramount to the maintenance of overall public trust.
As always, I’m only an email away. Bryce@BryceCasavant.ca

Contact: Bryce J. Casavant, CMAS, MA

The views and opinions expressed in this publication are my own and do not reflect the views of the BC Public Service or its ministries.

Bryce Casavant is a Senior Compliance and Enforcement Specialist with the BC Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations, and Rural Development. He is a former BC Conservation Officer and Special Provincial Constable. Bryce is a decorated military veteran and Doctoral Candidate at Royal Roads University’s Doctor of Social Sciences Program. His research focus is on public trust and wildlife policing in BC. Bryce was a candidate for the New Democratic Party in the 2017 BC Provincial Elections.

References: PDF In Defence of a Fallen King updated 2017

 

Auditor General’s Report Reveals Grizzly Bear Management Under FLNR Has Failed, by VWS Society

October 30, 2017 TMTVNews.com

by VWS.org

http://bctvkootenays.com/2017/10/30/auditor-generals-report-reveals-grizzly-bear-management-under-the-ministry-of-forests-has-failed/

Recently BC’s Auditor General (AG) reported a plethora of problems in the management of BC’s grizzly bears.
(Submitted by the Valhalla Wilderness Society) The report says the problems were caused by a shift of wildlife management responsibilities from the Ministry of Environment (MOE) to the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resources (FLNRO) that occurred in 2011. According to the Auditor General’s report, “MFLNRO has most of the authority to make decisions that impact grizzly bear populations and habitat, leaving MOE with limited powers to carry out its mandate to manage and protect.”

“This was a gross betrayal of grizzly bears and all BC wildlife”, says VWS biologist Wayne McCrory, a former member of the past government Grizzly Bear Scientific Advisory Committee. “It is an apparent conflict of interest for FLNRO, which destroys habitat for grizzly bears by maintaining high rates of logging, pushing logging roads into wilderness areas, and degrading fish streams.”
Long before this transfer of power in 2011, the Ministry of Environment began to be stripped of much of its staff and funding. The findings of the Auditor General include a 1995 Grizzly Bear Conservation Strategy that has never had a management plan attached to it, and thus, has no definitive procedures for implementation. A strategy for conducting population inventories and monitoring is touted on the internet, but is not used and has no funding.

FLNRO determines the number of grizzly bears that can be killed by hunters each year, yet the audit found a number of problems with the way this is calculated. The auditors at least expected that MFLNRO would be monitoring and evaluating forest development plans for their impacts on grizzly bears, but it wasn’t doing that either. Grizzly bears tend to disappear from roaded areas due to hunter access and increased human conflicts, as well as poaching. There are 600,000 kilometres of resource roads in the province, expanding by approximately 10,000 km a year, often without the necessary grizzly bear population figures or habitat inventory.
The 2017 audit notes that BC has failed to implement some recommendations of a 2010 audit on biodiversity. The 2010 report stated: “it was apparent that the conservation of biodiversity will become more at risk in the future due to the inadequate connectivity of parks and protected areas.” According to the recent report: “there has been little effort to address the issue of connectivity for grizzly bears….”

“The worst impact on wildlife was the past government’s almost 20-year failure to create large, fully protected, permanent parks, other than in the Great Bear Rainforest,” says Craig Pettitt, a director of VWS. “In the interior, the Valhalla Wilderness Society’s Selkirk Mountain Caribou Park Proposal would protect connectivity corridors between three existing parks. It contains prime grizzly bear habitat, grizzly bear viewing businesses and 29 severely endangered mountain caribou; it has had the benefit of numerous scientific studies, and has minimal resource conflicts.
Reversing the damage done by years of mismanagement of wildlife will require the new government to restore full responsibility for the Ministry of Environment Act and the Wildlife Act to the Ministry of Environment, with sufficient resources to do the job well. Secondly, BC urgently needs a dramatic increase in the percentage of fully protected areas.

Bryce Casavant’s Essay ‘To Conserve and Protect’ Oct 26, 2017

To Read Essay go to: http://www.brycecasavant.ca/2017/10/27/discussion-starter-conserve-protect/

brycecasavant_72

Talking about public trust and how wildlife enforcement in British Columbia is conducted and perceived isn’t always simple, but it is an integral part to ensuring our democratic values are upheld.

In my history as a soldier with combat experience in the Canadian Forces Military Police, and as a Conservation Officer in British Columbia, I have practical experience with the concepts of officer discretion. And that is the subject of the essay I have written: To Conserve and Protect.

With this essay I raise questions pertaining to the state’s jurisdiction and authority to destroy wildlife, and to argue that the destruction of wildlife experiencing conflict must be justifiable. Though the subject may seem straight-forward, there is, ironically, conflict between the various Acts and both written and unwritten policies within multiple levels of law enforcement.

The discussion within is based on the premise that officer discretion is essential to the overall public trust in the local community and greater society, what that looks like, and how we can ensure that a transparent, and open public discussion on the nature of wildlife enforcement agencies in British Columbia takes place.

A technical report will follow shortly, showing a statistically significant relationship between officer’s killing of animals, the “appropriateness” of the actions, and levels of public confidence in British Columbia.

 

End Hunting of All Grizzlies in B.C. SPCA Action Alert by Nov 2, 2017

End the hunting of all grizzlies in B.C. | Email the Fish and Wildlife Branch today.

TAKE ACTION http://spca.bc.ca/ways-to-help/take-action/wild-animals/end-grizzly-bear-hunt/?utm_source=actionalert&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=advocacy Have you sent your email yet?

Over 3,500 emails sent. If you have not already, will you help us reach our goal of 5,000?

Alberta ended grizzly bear hunting over a decade ago. The B.C. government wants to hear your feedback on what they should do to protect the grizzly bear population. Until November 2, the public can provide input into the regulation changes.

Please ask B.C.’s Fish and Wildlife Branch to end all grizzly bear hunting, send an email today. TAKE ACTION http://spca.bc.ca/ways-to-help/take-action/wild-animals/end-grizzly-bear-hunt/?utm_source=actionalert&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=advocacy

Thank you for joining me in sending an email to the B.C. government,

Dr. Sara Dubois,

Registered Professional Biologist Chief Scientific Officer BC SPCA Share this email Facebook Twitter Email Donate About Us Contact Unsubscribe Privacy Policy © 2017 The British Columbia Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (BC SPCA). Our mission is to protect and enhance the quality of life for domestic, farm and wild animals in BC. BC SPCA is a registered charity, tax # BN 11881 9036 RR0001.

Grizzly Meat Poisoning Alert in Russia, 34 people contaminated, 16 from Trichinosis

http://siberiantimes.com/other/others/news/major-brown-bear-meat-poisoning-alert-in-tomsk-region-as-34-contaminated-and-16-suffer-from-trichinosis/

GrizzlyMeatPhotoSmoked bear meat. Picture: mokvo4.ru

By The Siberian Times reporter
25 October 2017
Four children among those hit by the infection which has spread from a beast slaughtered this year

Trichinosis has been confirmed in inhabitants of Kataiga village in Tomsk region.
One of them now in the hospital at Siberian State Medical University in Tomsk.
Among the infected are residents of Tomsk and Barnaul.
Trichinosis is infection caused by the roundworm Trichinella spiralis or Trichinella roundworm.

Symptoms include diarrhoea, abdominal cramps, muscle pain, and fever.
People acquire the infection by eating raw or undercooked contaminated meat.
In total, watchdog Rospotrebnadzor detected 34 people, including four children, one only two, who consumed contaminated brown bear meat.

A dozen live in the village and the rest in Tomsk and Barnaul.
The head of Verkheketsk district, Alexey Sidikhin, said: ‘The bear was killed in the summer, if not in the spring.
‘The hunters were from Novosibirsk, their exact number is unknown to us – they immediately left.
‘One of the residents of Kataiga also took part in the hunt, apparently as a guide. He is now in the hospital.

Village chief Ivan Nasonov said: ‘We have seized 57 kilograms of bear meat.’ Picture: The Siberian TimesSeizedBearMeat

The total number of people confirmed as having contracted trichinosis is 16.

‘We are now looking for the hunters on our own. They also need to be warned that there is a risk of serious illness.’
Some meat was smoked, some salted. The hunters gifted the meat to villagers.
Village chief Ivan Nasonov said: ‘We have seized 57 kilograms of bear meat.
‘Some was sent analysis, some was destroyed.’
Trichinosis is a parasitic disease caused by roundworms of the Trichinella type.
During initial infection, invasion of the intestines can result in diarrhoea, abdominal pain, and vomiting.

DeadGrizzly The number of brown bears has recently increased this year. Picture: Zeya Reserve

Migration of larvae to muscle, which occurs after a week after being infected, can cause swelling of the face, fever, muscle pains, and a rash. Minor infection may be without symptoms.
Complications may include inflammation of the heart muscle, an attack on the central nervous system involvement, and inflammation of the lungs.
Trichinosis can be fatal depending on the severity of the infection.
Death can occur four to six weeks after infection, usually caused by myocarditis, encephalitis, or pneumonia.