Helen Keller said, “Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.” This is very true of animal welfare work, where the challenges to animal wellbeing can seem insurmountable. Michigan Humane understands that there are more animal welfare issues than can be resolved by any one organization and is constantly seeking opportunities to join forces with like-minded organizations and individuals.
Since the beginning of 2021, Michigan Humane has joined with dozens of organizations to take a stand on various wildlife issues related to hunting. Michigan Humane is not an anti-hunting organization and wildlife issues are not our primary focus, but we advocated for wildlife in the following situations consistent with our guiding Principles + Beliefs:
- Senate Resolution 15 – Introduced in February 2021 and referred to the Senate Committee on Natural Resources, SR 15 is a nonbinding resolution urging the Natural Resources Commission (NRC) to authorize, and the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) to organize, wolf hunting and trapping as part of the state’s wolf management efforts beginning in 2021. The wolf hunt issue has been voted on twice in Michigan, and both times, a majority of voters opposed hunting Michigan’s wolves. Because Michigan Humane is opposed to the creation of hunting seasons on additional species without the approval of the general electorate, we joined with nineteen other animal welfare advocates in co-signing a letter to the Senate Committee on Natural Resources asking them to vote no on the resolution. Unfortunately, the committee reported the resolution to the Senate floor, and it was adopted in March 2021.
- Senate Resolution 20 – Also introduced in February 2021 and referred to the Committee on Natural Resources, SR 20 is a nonbinding resolution encouraging the NRC to add the Eastern sandhill crane to the game species list and ask the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service to approve establishment of a hunting season for them. Michigan Humane joined 29 other animal welfare organizations and opposed the resolution because Michigan voters have not voted on the issue of hunting sandhill cranes. Although the committee reported the resolution to the Senate floor in March, it is still awaiting a vote.
- Kalamazoo County Board of Commissioners resolution opposing wildlife killing contests – This nonbinding resolution was introduced in June 2021 to condemn wildlife killing contests, in which participants compete for prizes for killing the most, the largest, or even the smallest coyotes and other wildlife species within a specified time. Michigan Humane opposes “trophy hunting,” where animals are killed for recreational purposes only. For that reason, we joined other advocates in signing on to a letter supporting the resolution, and we joined 38 other supporters who submitted live and pre-recorded testimony for the resolution hearing. A majority of the Kalamazoo County Board of Commissioners voted for the resolution, making it the first government body in Michigan to condemn wildlife killing contests.
We will continue to take opportunities to work with other organizations to benefit animal welfare, because we know that the more voices that are raised, the better the chances of being heard.
We are going to keep working to improve animal welfare and serving as a voice for the animals through advocacy. Together, we can continue to make a difference in animals’ lives. If you know someone who you think would be interested in this information, please share this with them and encourage them to sign up for our Legislative Action Network.
Photo Credit: Michigan Humane