Breaking news: House votes to remove Endangered Species Act protections for gray wolves

By on November 16, 2018 with 22 Comments

In a shameless move that puts at risk one of America’s most valued and iconic native carnivores, the U.S. House of Representatives has voted to strip Endangered Species Act protections from gray wolves in the continental United States. The bill, which passed today by a vote of 196 to 180, still needs Senate approval, and that gives us a chance to kill it. If we don’t, we’ll be facing a scenario in which states are permitted to open up a trophy hunting season on gray wolves, putting them in the crosshairs of hunters, commercial trappers and ranchers.

The House vote on the Manage our Wolves Act, H.R. 6784, introduced by Rep. Sean Duffy, R-Wis., threatens the future of gray wolves because they are only recovered to about five percent of their historic range. But there’s something still more outrageous about this legislation as a matter of democratic principle. It strips the courts of authority to review endangered species protection decisions to ensure that they are not made on political or other impermissible bases, and that’s a travesty.

Most Americans do not want wolves to be hunted. A multitude of polls and studies show that Americans value and appreciate wolves and want to see them protected and treated humanely. Today’s vote subverts the public will in deference to trophy hunting and agribusiness interests, even though the federal agency charged with wildlife protection already has authority to amend protections where they are supported by science. A handful of congressmen working for special interests have turned American democracy on its head.

The champions of this outrageous measure have pushed out the canard that it is a mitigation measure to help ranchers and farmers, despite the fact that wolves only take 0.04 percent of the livestock in the states where they are present. Data we analyzed from the U.S. Department of Agriculture show that most livestock losses come from health problems, weather events, poison and theft.

We’ve got to do our best to make sure that this dangerous bill does not pass in the Senate. Were it to become law, history shows that states will do nothing to protect wolves. Even now, states like Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin are poised to open liberal trophy hunting and trapping seasons on them.

Wolves are intelligent, family-oriented animals, and when members of the pack are killed, it not only causes grief for the survivors, but it disrupts their entire social structure. Pups and yearlings cannot survive if their parents and other family members are killed.

The vote today was mostly along party lines, with nine Democrats joining 187 Republicans to pass the bill. Twelve Republicans voted to oppose it. We are grateful to Reps. Don Beyer, D-Va., Earl Blumenauer, D-Ore., Suzanne Bonamici, D-Ore., Peter DeFazio, D-Ore., Debbie Dingell, D-Mich., Brian Fitzpatrick, R-Pa., Raul Grijalva, D-Ariz., Jared Huffman, D-Calif., and Betty McCollum, D-Minn., who spoke on the House floor to oppose the bill.

But the protection of our wildlife ought not to be a partisan issue: wolves are not hunted for food and we must work for the day when all can agree that one of America’s most beautiful carnivores should not be reduced to a pelt or a trophy on a wall.

We also shouldn’t stand for some of our most basic democratic rights taken away from us, like the right to challenge regulatory action by the government that is supposed to represent us and properly implement our laws. Please contact your U.S. Senator and let them know that you will not stand for this brazen attack on our precious wildlife.

Alex the chimpanzee makes a long journey home

By on November 15, 2018 with 1 Comment
Alex the chimpanzee makes a long journey home

The Humane Society of the United States led a decades-long fight to end the use of chimpanzees in research. After the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service acted on our petition to declare all chimpanzees as endangered in 2015, effectively ending such use, we supported the . . . 

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Urgent alert! Act now to stop major threat to wolves in Congress

By on November 14, 2018 with 9 Comments
Urgent alert! Act now to stop major threat to wolves in Congress

Congress will act this Friday on a bill that poses a terrible threat to wolves, and we urgently need your help to stop it. The U.S. House of Representatives is set to vote on the Manage our Wolves Act, H.R. 6784 – a bill that . . . 

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China should not lift 25-year ban on tiger and rhino parts trade

By on November 13, 2018 with 3 Comments
China should not lift 25-year ban on tiger and rhino parts trade

China has sent out conflicting messages over the past few weeks over its decision to lift a 1993 ban on the sale of tiger bones and rhino horns for medicinal use. Last month, its government formally rescinded the ban, and then earlier this week, a . . . 

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Ricky Gervais receives HSI’s first Cecil Award

By on November 12, 2018 with 6 Comments
Ricky Gervais receives HSI’s first Cecil Award

Three years ago, the American public roared in outrage upon learning of the killing of a beloved lion, Cecil, by an American trophy hunter. As terrible as that killing was, it was also a watershed moment for animal welfare – one that created a global . . . 

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HSUS, partners step in to help dogs rescued from a Louisiana puppy mill

By on November 9, 2018 with 1 Comment
HSUS, partners step in to help dogs rescued from a Louisiana puppy mill

Our work to tackle the puppy mill scourge is multifaceted and includes a range of tactics. We appeal to consumers to adopt animals from rescue groups and animal shelters, or to adopt from responsible breeders. We persuade pet stores to discontinue their reliance on puppy . . . 

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Second round of Spayathon for Puerto Rico will help 8,000 dogs and cats

By on November 8, 2018 with 1 Comment
Second round of Spayathon for Puerto Rico will help 8,000 dogs and cats

The Humane Society of the United States and its partners are back on the ground for the second round of Spayathon for Puerto Rico, an ambitious project that aims to provide free spay, neuter and vaccination services to 30,000 dogs and cats in the commonwealth . . . 

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Historic wins for farm animals in California, greyhounds in Florida

By on November 7, 2018 with 172 Comments
Historic wins for farm animals in California, greyhounds in Florida

The Humane Society of the United States and the Humane Society Legislative Fund take on the big fights: the ones that have the greatest long-term impact for the most animals. On Election Day, we prevailed once again with two decisive and historic victories, one for . . . 

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Election Day: Live updates

By on November 6, 2018 with 1 Comment
Election Day: Live updates

VICTORY! In California, voters have approved Proposition 12, a historic measure that will improve the lives of tens of millions of farm animals by prohibiting cruel cage confinement of egg-laying hens, pigs used for breeding, and calves raised for veal in small cages that immobilize . . . 

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California and Florida cast crucial votes tomorrow on farm animals, greyhounds

By on November 5, 2018 with 2 Comments
California and Florida cast crucial votes tomorrow on farm animals, greyhounds

Tomorrow, citizens in California and Florida will vote on critical animal protection measures with profound and lasting implications for humane work. In California, a virtual army of Humane Society of the United States staff members and volunteers are making the case for a ballot measure . . . 

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