A new measure by the White House to roll back environmental policy has attracted controversy and left many animal lovers and conservationists outraged.
Effective last week, the Trump administration reversed Obama-era regulations on hunting wildlife in Alaska’s national preserves, a decision that makes it easier to hunt animal cubs and their mothers.
Actions prohibited by the Obama administration’s 2015 ban are once again legal, including hunting bear cubs and bears with cubs, and hunting wolves and coyotes in the summer, the season when mothers wean their young.
It also allows hunters to use artificial light and dogs to hunt bears, as well as luring them with greasy food as bait. It also makes it legal to shoot swimming caribou by motorboat.
The rollback has been in the works since 2018, part of the Trump administration’s efforts to undo Obama environmental policies. The president’s son, Donald Trump Jr, is an avid big game hunter and has pushed for expanded hunting rights.
The decision has received support from local hunting groups and tribal leaders, who felt the 2015 rulings violated state’s rights and local traditions.
However, it’s been condemned by many conservationists and animal rights groups, who say the rollback legalizes cruel and inhumane hunting practices.
“We have never opposed hunting, but this can hardly be considered hunting,” Theresa Pierno, president and chief executive of the National Parks Conservation Association, told the New York Times.
“To be going into dens of hibernating bears and killing cubs and killing moms certainly is, I don’t think, the picture most people have of hunting.”
“We believe that these rules are cruel and irresponsible,” Laura Smythe, a staff attorney for the Humane Society of the United States, told CNN.
“These practices are used as predator control methods, which means they’re used to suppress predatory species to artificially elevate the population of game species.”
We believe that these animals deserve protection against inhumane hunting practices and strongly disagree with the administration’s decision.
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