Wisconsin’s wolf hunt was a slaughter. Here’s how to make it less unfair
Wisconsin’s Act 169 should be repealed. Dogs, traps, snares and snowmobiles should not be allowed.
Last week, a Sun-Times contributing writer wrote about a Wisconsin wolf hunt that took place over several days in February. It was not a wolf hunt, as the writer David McGrath made clear. It was a slaughter. In addition to killing 83% more wolves than allowed, many participants boasted of “gut shooting” many wolves and claiming just one, or running them ragged with dogs and snowmobiles. Dogs were allowed to tear up the quarry. This is not a fair chase.
Wildlife is held in the public trust. Those of us who enjoy wildlife and wild places non-consumptively number in the thousands. We deserve a voice.
State departments of natural resources originally were created to rein in the hunters, who were thought to be devastating wild animal populations. This is happening again.
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Why does this minority of people get all the say-so as to how we treat wildlife?
Ideally, Wisconsin’s Act 169, which sets the rules for wolf hunting and trapping, should be repealed. Dogs, traps, snares and snowmobile-chasing should not be allowed. Before any wolf hunt happens again in Wisconsin, the state’s Department of Natural Resources needs to come up with proposals to:
- Make sure the number of wolves allowed to be killed is not exceeded.
- Ensure fair chase. This includes prohibiting the use of dogs to hunt wolves and prohibiting night hunting.
- Monitor actual wolf lives lost. The hunters are not self-regulating.
- Ensure that any wolf wounded counts as that person’s quota.
- Establish significant punishment and deterrents for poaching.
Chris Albert, doctor of veterinary medicine, Lebanon Junction, Kentucky
Give thanks to social workers
March is the perfect time to offer thanks to another unsung group of heroes — social workers. During the pandemic, social workers have been on the front lines along with doctors, nurses, grocery store staff and other essential employees. They have been quietly going about their work and, with March being Social Work Month, it is the perfect time to publicly applaud them.
Each day more than 700,000 social workers nationwide make life better for others. Social workers are everywhere. They work in schools, helping children get the best possible education. They are in mental health centers and private practices, helping people overcome mental illnesses such as depression and substance use disorders. They protect children and strengthen families who’ve come in contact with the child welfare system.
This past year, the COVID-19 pandemic has brought with it a mental health crisis. According to the Center of Disease Control, more than 40% of U.S. adults reported struggling with mental health or substance abuse during the pandemic compared to 11% in 2019. People are battling fear of illness, social isolation, economic insecurity, loss of loved ones and more. All of these are risk factors for depression, anxiety and substance abuse. These are some of the frontline battles social workers fight every day, helping individuals cope with the devastating toll of the pandemic.
Mike Bertrand, president and CEO of Lutheran Child and Family Services of Illinois