Open letter to Environment Minister Elaine Taylor:
I am concerned that a chief veterinary officer position is being created by the Yukon government for all the wrong reasons.
It seems from the news reports that the CVO will monitor the health of wildlife and domestic animals to protect human interests, such as trophy hunting, food sources and diseases that could spread to humans.
Dennis Senger, of the Department of Environment, was recently quoted saying the vet “will ensure the quality and safety of animal food sources – whether domestic or wild.”
Why does it require a commercial motive before this government shows any interest in animal health?
Taylor, you recently said, on CBC, that wildlife is important to the outfitters so this CVO position must be created.
Since “stakeholders” agree, there was no need to consult with the public, you said.
What does it take to be considered a “stakeholder?” The public deserves a voice.
If your government is so concerned about the health of wildlife, then why do you support the degradation of the big-game gene pools that science shows is attributed to trophy hunting? Killing the largest and healthiest animals is detrimental to the overall health of the species.
Meanwhile, the Canadian Wildlife Federation and the Yukon Fish and Game Association are both complaining about how the Drury farm has recently imported some elk, because they could potentially carry chronic wasting disease.
Why is your government encouraging animal farming when imported animals could spread illnesses to wildlife, and when animal farming is so destructive to wildlife habitat?
Plus, it turns the wildlife into “nuisance” species in the eyes of the farmers and ranchers, leading to more human-wildlife conflicts.
It seems like this government is doing everything to weaken wildlife by encouraging harmful practices (a CVO must know this).
Most, if not all, problems involving wildlife and wildlands point to a critical need for human behaviour to change. We have to stop expecting animals to accommodate us, feed us, be there when we need them and be gone when we don’t want them around.
Exploiting and killing animals is, believe it or not, not good for them. Our whole way of thinking about animals needs a radical shift. So long as we view them as commodities, not as who they truly are – sentient beings – we cannot truly respect and protect them.
So therefore, if you want to improve the health of wildlife, kill the big game “trophy hunting” business (and other destructive methods). Stop introducing nonnative wild and domestic species as a meat source for humans to indulge in.
This will be wonderful progress for wildlife, wildlands, domestic animals, the environment and for humankind.