Check out Tundras Journey HERE
Our friends Gary Allan and Tundra would like to share their new book, Tundra - A gift from the Creator! Per Gary Allan, "“Tundra – A Gift from the Creator” is the story of the journey that Tundra & I have been on for the past 13 years educating both students and the public about the ecological importance of wolves and the incredible importance the wolf is to First Nation culture. Tundra is very well received by all First Nation people that meet her.
I think you will enjoy the many stories that we have collected and experienced on this journey. This book will be liked by children and adults.
Proceeds from this book will fund the work that our Society, Tundra Speaks Society is doing in schools and in community groups.
Find out more here: TUNDRASPEAKS
Our good friend Gary Allan has formed a non-profit society in BC called Tundra Speaks Society. Please support his work with wolves! The new website is www.tundraspeaks.com
Gary has partnered with a First Nations elder from the Nuu-chah-nulth territory & they are doing presentations for schools, individuals & community groups emphasizing the value of the wolf in Indigenous cultures. Please also check out the following Gary R. Allan Vimeo account, www.vimeo.com/user68339709 for some amazing videos!
The Cruelty of Snares
The Province of Alberta is no friend to wildlife. Every year a multitude of sins are committed against wildlife in the province:
- Baiting, luring animals into traps or to be shot
- Use of dogs to track, chase, terrify and attack wild animals
- Culls (including recent recommendations to actually increase the slaughter of wolves in an effort to recover the caribou)
- Poison use - strychnine, 1080, cyanide
- Bounties (the Government says that they do not pay or support bounties and yet in Northern Alberta we have a very strong suspicion based on reports that trappers are actually being paid by the Government)
- Killing Contest - the Alberta Government says it doesn’t support these activities but, just like the Government of BC, does nothing to stop/deter them
So much to talk about, enough to fill a book. Oh wait a minute, that’s been done numerous times and yet this still goes on.
But I digress, today we are here to talk about the atrocity of snares. Recently, on a tip from a hiker, notable photographer and wildlife conservationist John E. Marriott, uncovered a horrific scene of death and torture inflicted on many wolves that had been skinned for their fur and decapitated, other wolf carcasses, snares, bait, and even a live wolf caught by it's foot in a snare. That Exposed episode on this horrifying scene can be viewed by clicking on this link -
The really sad and sickening part of all of this is that it is legal to use these devices of torture. Yes, in 2019 it is legal to abuse an animal just because it is wild. Trappers, and the governments will tell the public that snares are humane because they "kill instantly", however the videos and photos speak for themselves. Not to mention many trappers own testimonials of coming across live animals still suffering in snares after days of being caught. Snares are banned in many other countries due to these very reasons.
In their own circles, trappers will tell the truth about snares (spelling errors are included as written)-
“Checked snares today and very last one held this coyote by two toes on the back foot, somehow he weaseled his way thru it before getting caught.”
“Only about two km south, we came across a wolves set but the sad part was that there was a yearling caribou cow caught in a wolf snare.”
“Put out a dozen snares yesterday. My first attempt at snaring coyotes. Today when I checked I had 2 misses and 1 live coyote. The snare was around the rib cage.”
“I’ve had a bad year for chew outs. One of coyotes I recaught this year had the previous snare high on the neck and the spring wasn’t even pulled off the trigger. He was just freshly caught again, with a good neck catch, was alive and voraciously chewing the snare. I have a Hutterite trapper friend that got one that was wearing 4 snares.”
“Not going to beat around the bush. Wolves that we have caught that were still live in the snare were collared ones.”
“He was still alive in the snare tork!!! When I came around the corner and this big and this big beast was thrashing around about 10 ft from me! He even howled at me twice!!”
“I caught a coyote this morning that had chewed out of somebody else’s set up. He was in rough shape and I’m glad I caught him and put him out of his misery. Who ever made the snare used the wrong size lock for the cable and it didn’t lock up right. I question how long he was in the snare but that’s another story.”
Response to above by another trapper :”- Friend has that happen also but around the neck. Worse case of water head he ever seen. It wasn’t just water head, real nasty and I will spare the details. Chew outs can happen.”
“In one of our wolf sets we came across a cougar! Still alive!! Jeeze was she ever mad! She had been there a while as her breathing was raspy and was pretty played out. I ended up shooting her.”
“I leave my snares our year round. Just close the loop and hang up out of the way. I don’t trap coyotes but if I did catch a mangy wolf I wouldn’t dig the snare out of its frozen neck, it would stay there and get thrown in the bait pile.”
“We all trap for the different reasons. Mine is for the fun of it…”
Make note of that last one: “Mine is for the fun of it”. Seeing this horror and killing a wild animal is fun for this person. See our page HERE for more information.
This is what the Alberta Government will tell you when you question the use of snares. “Many trapping devices have been certified as humane under the Agreement on International Humane Trapping Standards and many more have been rejected for use and are now prohibited. Alberta is currently engaged in a Canada-wide research project dedicated to the testing of neck snares, based on internationally accepted scientific principles. The objective of this research is to ensure that snare design standards and associated trapping practices maximize humaneness and minimize incidental harvest of non-target animals. The results of this research will be used to inform our regulations and policy around the use of snares going forward.”
Here is another quote, this one from a biologist: “But snares are not classified as traps under the Agreement of International Humane Trapping Standards. Seems that Dave Kay with the Fish and Wildlife Policy Branch is unaware of that. Unless I am under false information, as I understand it, since snares are not classified as commercial killing devises they are not under the agreement... even though they clearly are commercial killing devises. Both Gilbert Proulx and John Marriott reference that in their respective work: Intolerable Cruelty and the Exposed episode.”
Now let’s revisit that last paragraph directly from a letter from David Kay, “Alberta is currently engaged in a Canada-wide research project dedicated to the testing of neck snares, based on internationally accepted scientific principles. The objective of this research is to ensure that snare design standards and associated trapping practices maximize humaneness and minimize incidental harvest of non-target animals. The results of this research will be used to inform our regulations and policy around the use of snares going forward.”
Think about what this means. The Alberta Government is involved with and funding a research project, testing the humaneness of snares. Tax payers in Alberta are funding cruel and horrific testing on live, sentient animals. Let that sink in. This type of research has gone on and on, in the past, showing that snares are NOT humane and yet the Alberta Government is still sinking money into this horrible activity to try and prove that it is humane. An update since we have got more information since the blog was written - The test facility is in Vegreville Alberta and the tests are being conducted on live coyotes. Watch for more on this nasty test facility in the coming weeks.
Yellowstone Park in the United States estimates an annual income of $35 million just from wolf viewers. Assuming that the trapper near Banff killed 11 wolves, he made about $1,600 on the sale of the furs, while our National Parks and our Province will be loosing potentially millions of dollars as wolves (and other animals) disappear from the parks. For $1600 worth of income for this person, it is safe to say that this is not likely a livelihood for him, but that he does it probably “for the fun of it”.
It is beyond time for this to stop but it will have to involve you and your MLA. Writing to the Premier or the Minister gets you these form letters from David Kay, or Travis Ripley with their misdirected and old, worn out ideas. Write and call your MLA. Use the information from this article, from our website and other legitimate and fact based websites, send them a link to John Marriott’s Exposed episode, and demand that snares be banned.
You can find your MLA by clicking this link: https://www.assembly.ab.ca/lao/mla/mla_help.htm
You can also call your MLA's office. If your call to your MLA is long distance, please dial 310-0000 then the area code and the phone number you would like to reach in order to receive toll free access.
You can write Mr. Dave Kay here:
Commercial Wildlife and Priority Species Specialist Wildlife Management Policy
Phone: 780 644-464
Recently, Wolf Matters received an email from a concerned hiker about a gruesome discovery he came upon in the Kananaskis. Him and his hiking partner discovered an active trap line with many wolves that had been skinned for their fur and decapitated, other wolf carcasses, snares, bait, and even a live wolf caught by it's foot in a snare. Understandably, he was shaken, sad and angry. He asked us how he could get this incident "exposed". Who better to ask than John E Marriott.... Here is his story exposed in John E. Marriotts first episode of 2019. Please note that there are some graphic parts to the video that are hard to watch.
Snares are cruel, indiscriminate methods of killing animals that have been proven to be inhumane, yet the government of Alberta allows trappers to snare wolves nearly all year round for a mere price of $40 with NO BAG LIMIT. Additionally it is legal to bait an area and saturate the same area with snares. Many pets have been caught and killed recently in snares along with other non target species. Trappers, and the governments, will tell the public that snares are humane because they "kill instantly", however the videos and photos speak for themselves. Not to mention many trappers own testimonials of coming across live animals still suffering in snares after days of being caught. Snares are banned in many other countries due to these very reasons. We need to speak up for our wildlife. We need to tell the governments that trapping, though legal, is not ethical and that in 2019, there is no need for such inhumane treatment of our Wildlife. Wolf management practices in Alberta have not been updated since the 1990s. Please be a voice for these animals, Call your MLA, write your MLA, Tweet, share the message, avoid fur products and the companies that promote fur, visit our Calls To Action Page and speak up and also visit the Fur Bearers site and sign their letter (https://thefurbearers.com/bl…/action-alert-ban-snares-canada).
Thank you to Craig and Tara for reaching out and for sharing your heartbreaking story, and of course to John E Marriott and EXPOSED crew for the awareness.
Wolf Matters helped fund this episode of EXPOSED. If you'd like to support further efforts towards the humane treatment of wolves and other canids, and future episodes of EXPOSED, please consider donating. Thank you.
A wolf cannot speak, will you speak for it?
A Letter to Premier Horgan
A long time Wolf Matters supporter, and founder of SWELL Wolf Education Centre, recently sent us a copy of a letter he wrote to BC Premier Horgan regarding wolf management in BC and has asked us to share it in the hopes that it would inspire others to pen a similar letter. Although the letter is targeted to the BC leader, much of the information can be applied to a similar letter to the Alberta government
Telus Spark and Wolf Matters
Thank you to Telus Spark for being so welcoming and providing us with the opportunity to share our work with the public. Per our volunteer Teena , "wow the kids, parents and staff were so welcoming. The shock and interest was great ..... and we had some serious lineups for tattoos!"
Wolf Bounty Follow Up
Following up on our discussion about wolf bounties in Alberta and the secret provincial bounty that the government wants to keep quiet because they are using your tax dollars to give to trappers to kill wolves:
Recall, in June 2016, from the Rocky Mountain Outlook: "Dave Kay, commercial wildlife and priority species specialist with Alberta Parks and Environment, said the province is looking at ways to regulate against the use of wolf bounties by municipalities and hunting and trapping groups.“It might be legal, but socially it’s really not that acceptable and we certainly don’t promote them,” said Kay. “We’ve had some discussions internally about how we can regulate against the use of bounties on wolves.”
And photo of Dave Kay at the recent Alberta Trappers Association get together in Westlock Alberta.
A recent thread on the Alberta Outdoorsmen Forum by Alberta trappers indicates that there has been a large investment of taxpayer dollars ($120,000) going to the Alberta's Trappers Association as bounty money to snare wolves in caribou habitat. Following the thread, it looks like trappers have received one thousand dollars just to put a wolf bait out. There is no mention of government paid bounties in the Alberta Caribou Recovery Plan so the bounties must be "buried" under the section that mentions "other measures". Regardless, we have serious concerns about this government bounty. First, tax payer dollars are going towards the torture and killing of wolves (and likely by-catch animals as snares are indiscriminate) - all without consulting constituents. There has been no mention of government paid bounties by the government on any website, or the news, and our letters to the AB government have gone unanswered. According to the forum, the government wants this bounty to be kept "hush, hush". Do you want your tax dollars going towards wolf culls? Second, we know that the real reason for caribou decline is habitat loss and fragmentation from industry (logging, oil and gas, etc) and that the government of Alberta has made no serious attempts to stop industry exploration and exploitation and in fact continues to hand out permits in sensitive caribou areas, thus wolf culls are a "bandaid" solution that the government uses to attempt to persuade the public that they are doing "something" to save caribou. Third, we know that wolf culls and snaring wolves does not in fact have any affect on caribou numbers due to the habitat loss and fragmentation and other factors that are leading to caribou demise (See HERE). Fourth, The Alberta government has stated in the past that they do not support municipal or private bounties because they are not effective. It seems they have changed their mind and have implemented their own. (NEWS ARTICLE).
For more information on the caribou issues, please read our page HERE.
Below are screen shots of the discussion seen on the Outdoorsmen Forum about this secret government bounty. As taxpayers, we all have the right to know where our tax payer dollars are going. Please write your MLA and demand answers. Wolves are already poisoned and shot from the air and now the government seems to be paying out a silent bounty on these scapegoated animals. Please speak up.
Here is another Thread that was posted a few months earlier on the forum
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