Editor’s note: The following article was reprinted with permission from Western Outdoor News (www.wonews.com).
PLACERVILLE, Calif. — In a plot as insidious as anything you’ve ever seen, the California Department of Fish and Game (DFG) has gone into partnership with the largest anti-hunting group in the nation, the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS).
The DFG has been infiltrated by HSUS, which is dedicated to outlawing hunting of all types, and is even now focusing on outlawing the raising and hunting of game birds, using dogs for hunting, and even having farm animals and household pets. They are now helping to fund the DFG, are being trained at the DFG warden training school, and are even teaching classes to DFG wardens.
It began simply enough with a $5,000 donation to the DFG Game Wardens to help with feeding their canine program about two years ago. That in itself was enough to raise the ire of California sportsmen and women and outdoor groups. But that was also enough for HSUS to buy their way into the DFG’s graces, and head law enforcement officer of the DFG, Nancy Foley, has now gone far beyond that in her association with HSUS.
HSUS “Law Enforcement Officers” are now being trained in the California DFG Training Center in Paradise, Calif., and working under the auspices and authority of the California DFG. They are now, believe it or not, actually instructors training line officer DFG wardens!
If that’s not enough, Jennifer Fearing, the California senior state director of HSUS, was elected to the CalTIP Foundation Board of Directors at their last meeting on Oct. 6, 2011. The HSUS already has a Secret Witness Program for poaching with a standard reward of $2,500. Is the DFG pleased? Apparently so: “This is the kind of support that we have needed for 30 years. Please be happy for the Wildlife Resource and the CalTIP Foundation…I am,” said Charlie Moss, chair of the CalTIP Foundation.
Imagine the “Got Meat” commercials hiring a vegan for their spokesman; or the fur industry asking for the endorsement of PETA. That’s exactly the same thing as DFG accepting the nation’s largest anti-hunting organization, HSUS, as a partner.
What is HSUS, exactly? First and foremost, they are not an animal “welfare” group, which is concerned about the health and well-being of animals. They are an extreme animal “rights” group, which believes that animals have equal rights to human beings.
HSUS spends millions of dollars annually to economically cripple meat and dairy producers, eliminate the use of animals in biomedical research labs, phase out pet breeding, and eliminate zoos and circus animal acts. They are against anyone having pets, even fish in aquariums. They demonize hunters as crazed lunatics, and are against any hunting in any form, despite its acceptance by the vast majority of people in the United States, as long as it’s done legally and with a sound scientific and biological base.
According to HSUS president Wayne Pacelle, “We will see the end of wild animals in circus acts, and we’re phasing out animals used in research. If we could shut down all sport hunting in a moment, we would.” Pacelle carefully uses the word “sport” in all his diatribes, intending to convince people that hunters are only out for “sport,” and that it has nothing to do with enjoyment, to help curb animal populations, and for the ultimate goal of putting meat on the table.
According to ACTIVISTCASH.com, the budget for HSUS in 2008 was $97 million. Of that, $27.5 million was spent on fundraising, $28.0 million on campaigns, litigation and investigation, and $38 million on salaries. The remainder of their budget that year, about $5 million, was spent on travel. Zero dollars were spent on anything pertaining to the health and welfare of animals. In fact, their budget would be enough to fund every single animal shelter in the United States, and yet they don’t own or operate a single one!
This is the organization that the DFG has teamed up with, and Foley thinks it’s just fine. In her own words, Foley said, “We are again very grateful to the Humane Society of the United States for their support of the wardens’ efforts to combat the increase in poaching. We look forward to continued collaboration on this issue.” And now, HSUS has actual law enforcement officers here in California, trained at the DFG Training Center at Butte College in Paradise, and some of those officers are actual instructors, teaching DFG wardens!
How can someone who is hired by an animal-rights group, and believes animals have the same rights as humans, be teaching a Fish and Game enforcement officer? According to one attendee in one of the classes, the instructor showed a photo of hounds chasing a wild boar and said it was “animal cruelty”—until some in the class reminded the instructor that it was legal.
What the HSUS has done here is buy the DFG and its support for a few thousand dollars. The DFG recently issued a news release that was headed, “Department of Fish and Game and the Humane Society offer Reward for Mountain Lion Poachers.” That in itself is very troubling, that the DFG is lending its name and credibility to an animal-rights, anti-hunting group. What’s worse is that HSUS is given a form of credibility by that, when they are not at all a credible organization, at least not in the eyes of sportsmen and women.
Sportsmen should be afraid that there are actually HSUS law enforcement officers now in California, acting as “special investigators” under penal code section 830, and apparently under the auspices of the DFG.
The DFG is a state agency responsible for the fish and wildlife of California and is funded in great part by the sale of fishing and hunting licenses to sportsmen and women in California. They, and all Californians who believe that fish and wildlife should be managed by sound scientific and biological principles, should be infuriated that such an element as HSUS, which does not believe in such principles, should be associated with a state agency such as the DFG.
The partnership should end, and it should end now.