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Trophy Hunting Advocate Named Acting Director of U.S. Fish and March 30, 2005 12:58 PM

Trophy Hunting Advocate Named Acting Director of U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service By: Humane Society of the United States Published: Fri, 25 Mar 2005 The HSUS expressed its strong disappointment that Interior Secretary Gale Norton has named Matthew J. Hogan to be acting director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Norton announced the appointment yesterday, following last week's resignation of Director Steve Williams. Hogan was formerly the chief lobbyist for Safari Club International (SCI), an extreme trophy hunting organization that advocates the killing of rare species around the world. "Having a Safari Club lobbyist in charge, even temporarily, of the federal agency that is supposed to protect endangered species is precisely the wrong course to pursue for any Administration," said Wayne Pacelle, president and CEO of The HSUS. "Someone with a true wildlife conservation ethic, not an allegiance to the trophy hunting industry, should be nominated by President Bush and confirmed by the U.S. Senate for the permanent director position as soon as possible." The Arizona-based SCI has made a name for itself as one of the most extreme and elite trophy hunting organizations, representing some 40,000 wealthy trophy collectors, fostering and promoting competitive trophy hunting of exotic animals on five continents. SCI members shoot prescribed lists of animals to win so-called Grand Slam and Inner Circle titles. There's the Africa Big Five (leopard, elephant, lion, rhino, and buffalo), the North American Twenty Nine (all species of bear, bison, sheep, moose, caribou, and deer), Big Cats of the World, Antlered Game of the Americas, and many other contests. To complete all 29 award categories, a hunter must kill a minimum of 322 separate species and sub-species - enough to populate a large zoo. This is an extremely expensive and lengthy task, and many SCI members take the quick and easy route to see their names in the record books. They shoot captive animals in canned hunts, both in the United States and overseas, and some engage in other unethical conduct like shooting animals over bait, from vehicles, with spotlights, or on the periphery of national parks. SCI members have even tried to circumvent federal laws to import their rare trophies from other countries. Prominent SCI hunter Kenneth E. Behring donated $100 million to the Smithsonian's Natural History Museum and, according to published reports, tried to get the museum's help in importing a rare Kara Tau argali sheep which he shot in Kazakhstan and had shipped to a Canadian taxidermist - one of only 100 Kara Tau argali sheep remaining in the world. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, now under Hogan's watch, is the agency charged with granting or denying such trophy import permits. "The Fish and Wildlife Service should police trophy hunters and others who seek to harm wildlife," added Pacelle. "They should not act as a procurement agency for people who simply wish to shoot rare animals as a means of improving their standing in the competitive world of trophy hunting." The Humane Society of the United States is the nation's largest animal protection organization with more than 8.5 million members and constituents. The HSUS is a mainstream voice for animals, with active programs in companion animals and equine protection, wildlife and habitat protection, animals in research and farm animals and sustainable agriculture. The HSUS protects all animals through education, investigation, litigation, legislation, advocacy, and field work. The non-profit organization is based in Washington and has field representatives across the country. On the web at www.hsus.org. http://www.yubanet.com/artman/publish/article_19334.shtml _________________________________________  [ send green star]
 
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