- Posted August 10, 2013 by
San Antonio, Texas
Our American Grey Wolves, Wild Horses and the climate of wildlife slaughter
Since the recent delisting from the Endangered Species Act, our historic American Grey Wolf has been placed in danger again as they still try to recover from previous extirpations. Our beautiful wild Mustangs are cruelly rounded up as we wait for political discussion of the SAFE Act and if they should be slaughtered in the U.S. Due to reversals of legislation that protect humane treatment of animals, specifically the Burns Amendment, they could still be shipped to foreign countries for slaughter. The DNA diversity of both species is becoming compromised by previous mismanagement, using slaughter as a means of population control. Lethal policy as a form of wildlife management also fails to acknowledge the psychological trauma experienced by the animals who witness the slaughter of their family or herd, as we, humans, do not acknowledge that feelings exist in animals. We have nonlethal methods to address population numbers that have been proven and are currently being used by many farmers and ranchers. A cause of these abnormal population shifts is often the use of lethal means to begin with, for example killing the apex predator, which then offsets the rest of the ecosystem, causing another species to overpopulate or die out. Our current unnecessary mistreatment interrupts family structure of the individual animals. Our established policies of managing our wild species lacks compassion and intelligent application of wildlife biology as it has evolved.
Our wolves and horses occupy public lands that are desirable natural resources for the cattle ranchers and the oil industry. As wild species, they have less rights than domesticated animals and are exposed to treatment that would be considered inhumane to a companion animal. While domestic animals suffer from those who abuse them, there are legal consequences for this kind of cruelty.
The loss of our wolves as apex predators and wild horses living on public lands changes our ecosystem. Studies show that the ancient ecosystem of North America depended on both the wolf and the wild horse to keep it's complex balance. The wolf as it's apex predator evolved to both keep population control and feed other carnivores in the system. Natural carnivores only take what they need and they take the weakest of a species. Other species in the chain still thrived due to natural culling that strengthens the DNA and viability of all creatures and plants in that ecosystem. Human culling or hunting, goes against the natural environmental cascade that keeps nature in balance. We kill for recreation, we devastate populations and kill the strongest and most beautiful animals, leaving cubs and pups to die, weakening the DNA of the species. It destroys the natural beauty of our lands due to disrupting the plant ecosystem as well. The loss of our apex predator with the continued expansion of factory farming and use of these lands for big industry could be devastating.
Photo credit: "Kiss" from Le Loup, Un Animal Fascinan