Wolves, political stupidity, and fear-mongering…by Mark Bekoff

Wolves, political stupidity, and fear-mongering: Wolves are a clear and present danger

Ignorant politicians ignore science and allow the continued slaughter of wolves

Published on April 21, 2011 by Marc Bekoff in Animal Emotions

Once again wolves are the target oirrational political and media sensationalism. To quote from this recent article: Despite enactment of federal legislation turning wolf control over to state wildlife management and allowing licensed hunting of the animals, [Idaho Governor Butch] Otter welcomed his new authority to bring law enforcement to bear against any wolf threats to humans or livestock.

The gray wolf of the Northern Rockies is about to become the first creature ever taken off the U.S. endangered species list by act of Congress, rather than by scientific review, under a measure inserted into a sweeping budget bill.” 

To quote from this bill: “The uncontrolled proliferation of imported wolves on private land has produced a clear and present danger to humans, their pets and livestock, and has altered and hindered historical uses of private and public land, dramatically inhibiting previously safe activities such as walking, picnicking, biking, berry picking, hunting and fishing … it is the intent of the legislature to regulate the presence of Canadian gray wolves in Idaho in order to safeguard the public, wildlife, economy and private property against additional devastation.”

A clear and present danger, safeguarding against additional devastation. Wow, how poetic and what a bunch of lies!

Of course, Governor Otter knows nothing about the biology of wolves nor does representative Lenore Barrett, R-Challis. But this doesn’t stop them from making misleading and stupid comments about these amazing animals. Ms. Barrett won’t let her grandchildren play outdoors because of the supposed presence of wolves. And, conveniently ignoring the fact that there haven’t been any wolf attacks on humans since they were reintroduced to Idaho in 1995, Ms. Barrett claimed: “They’re killers, they do it for sport, and then they leave their victim still alive for a lingering death.” Ms. Barrett isn’t alone in promulgating fear-mongering lies. As I pointed out in an earlier essay on the plight of wolves, politicians, including Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar, ignore science, and others who know nothing about the biology of wolves don’t hesitate to express stupid and misleading opinions.

READ MORE: http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/animal-emotions/201104/wolves-political-stupidity-and-fear-mongering-wolves-are-clear-and-prese

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FEAR MONGERING

Fear mongering (or scaremongering) is the use of fear to influence the opinions and actions of others towards some specific end. The feared object or subject is sometimes exaggerated, and the pattern of fear mongering is usually one of repetition, in order to continuously reinforce the intended effects of this tactic, sometimes in the form of a vicious circle. (Wiki)

The following article is a prime example of what Mark Bekoff is talking about

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Ravalli County commissioner claims wolves ruining quality of life

HAMILTON – Ravalli County residents no longer feel safe letting their children play outside because wolves are so prevalent in the Bitterroot Valley, County Commissioner Suzy Foss contends.

Foss recently listed her concerns in a letter to Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks director Joe Maurier, the five-member FWP Commission and Gov. Brian Schweitzer.

“Ravalli County is under great duress due to the overpopulation of gray wolves within our borders,” Foss wrote. “Our citizens, and in turn our county government, are suffering direct negative impacts to our general welfare and most especially the safety of our citizens and our local economic vitality.”

Read more: http://missoulian.com/news/local/article_652303ce-de85-11e0-b621-001cc4c03286.html#ixzz1XztJClNt

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To suggest wolves are a threat to children or anyone else for that matter in Ravalli County, has no basis in fact.  There has not been one single wolf caused death in the lower forty-eight in the last hundred years.  Not one wolf caused death since wolves were reintroduced to the Northern Rockies in 1995. But people can and do say anything. Demonizing wolves has become a sport in the Northern Rockies.  Does the Missoulian consider this nonsense to be news?

These are real dangers to children and adults  in Ravalli county and across America. that have nothing to do with wolves.

Bee Stings

40 to 100 fatal bee stings in US per year

When One Bee Sting is Your Last

http://abcnews.go.com/Health/AllergiesNews/story?id=8148229&page=1

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Dog Bites and Fatal Maulings

(We all love our dogs but facts are facts)

2005/2011 – 186 Fatal Dog Attacks

4.7 million dog bites per year 

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DRUNK DRIVING ACCIDENTS


Montana 2008 

81 fatal accidents in Montana where at least one driver had a BAC of 0.08% or above

91 people were killed in Montana in accidents where at least one driver had a BAC of 0.08% or above

12 people were killed in Montana in accidents where at least one driver had a BAC between 0.01% and 0.07%

103 total deaths caused in Montana where at least one driver had a BAC of 0.01% or above 

http://www.dui-usa.drinkdriving.org/Montana_dui_drunkdriving_statistics.php

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Sex Offenders/Violent Offenders

Montana Department of Justice  ·  Sexual or Violent Offender Registry

83 registered sex offenders in Ravalli County

83 registered violent offenders Ravalli County

(Hamilton, Darby, Pinesdale, Stevensville, Coravallis, Florence, Victor, Florence)

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Hunting Accidents

How Safe is Hunting by Young People?

 From CASH website:

Of 333 documented hunting accidents in our database for the years 2004 and 2005, the percentages break down like this:

 63 accidents (injuries and fatalities combined) of children aged 18 and younger (18.92% of all accidents)

 34 accidents that resulted in injury to children aged 18 and younger (10.21% of all accidents)

29 accidents fatal to children aged 18 and younger (8.71% of all accidents)

 27 injuries of children aged 11-18 (8.11% of all accidents)

7 injuries of children aged 10 and younger (2.10% of all accidents)

 27 fatalities of children aged 11-18 (8.11% of all accidents)

2 fatalities of children 10 and younger (0.61% of all accidents)

Of 333 hunting accidents that I came across for 2004 & 2005, 135 of them resulted in fatalities (40.54% of all accidents)

Hunting Accidents 2010

http://www.all-creatures.org/cash/accident-archive-2010.html

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Deer Auto Accidents

“There are more than 1.5 million crashes involving deer each year which cause over one billion in damage, 150 of the deer collisions are fatal, and there are more than 10,000 people injured.”

Montana in top five nationally for car vs. deer crashes

Read more: http://missoulian.com/news/state-and-regional/article_1e474d2e-ac56-11de-aa73-001cc4c03286.html#ixzz1Y0L5eq4D

“Throughout the centuries we have projected onto the wolf the qualities we most despise and fear in ourselves”..Barry Lopez

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Photo: Courtesy Wikimedia Commons
Posted in: Wolf Wars
Tags: Ravalli County, gray wolf hysteria, wolf myths, fear mongering
Published in: on September 15, 2011 at 12:59 am  Comments (21)  
Tags: , , ,
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