Alaska’s predator control programs are neither ethical nor sensible -Vic Van Ballenberghe, ADN Compass

By VIC VAN BALLENBERGHE April 19, 2014, Anchorage Daily News

[The Compass article below, written by AWA Advisory Board member Vic Van Ballenberghe, is in response to a previous article by John Schandelmeier, posted previously.  Both articles were originally published in the opinion section of the Anchorage Daily News.]

As I read John Schandelmeier’s recent column (“In predator control, questions of ethics and efficacy,” April 16) I found myself agreeing with most of its content until I came to the end. There I found the statement that “Alaska has some of the most sensible predator control laws in the United States.” Sensible for their efficacy? Sensible biologically? Sensible in terms of ethics? In my view, none of our predator control programs qualify as sensible based on these criteria.

Schandelmeier correctly stated that liberalizing wolf and bear hunting and trapping seasons, bag limits and methods of taking these species is a big part of recent predator control. Beginning about 10 years ago, the Board of Game not only implemented aerial shooting of wolves over large areas but also extended wolf hunting seasons into late summer and spring, when hides are of low quality and pups are still dependent on adults or are unborn. Is this ethical? Is it sensible biologically? I know of no evidence that this measure increased prey populations significantly…

Read the full article at Anchorage Daily News