Cross Posted from PDX ADL
[vimeo http://www.vimeo.com/36583531 w=400&h=711]
Oregon Cattlemen’s Association Board Meeting Take Over and Disruption from PDX ADL on Vimeo.
Corvallis, OR – On Friday, February 10,th, activists from both Seattle and Portland Animal Defense League and Cascadia Earth First! infiltrated the spring board meeting of the Oregon Cattlemen’s Association to confront the group on its anti-wolf propaganda and recent Oregon House Bill 4158.
Starting last week, the Oregon Legislature began reading and hearing arguments on HB4158, colloquially known as the “Wolf Kill Bill.” This bill, a brainchild of the Oregon Cattlemen’s Association, would circumvent the state’s Endangered Species Act, declare a state of emergency, and streamline the killing of wolves for the supposed benefit of the ranching industry.
For over one hundred years, ranching special interests have been scapegoating wildlife in general and wolves in particular, leading to the total extermination of wolves in the lower 48. Since the return and reintroduction of wolves into the Rockies in the mid-90s, ranching lobbyists have been obstructing ecological balance and healthy wolf recovery through every avenue possible. Now almost two decades later, Oregon has 29 wolves being labeled an emergency and threatened with imminent death. Idaho and Montana have killed collectively almost 300 wolves in a public hunt aimed at eradicating the Northern Rockies population. The Great Lakes wolf population has been stripped of federal protection and is now in the sights of hunters for the first time in 30 years.
This modern reincarnation of anti-wolf sentiment and extermination can be sourced to the prominence of the ranching industry and its presence in state and federal legislatures. Organizations such as the Oregon Cattlemen’s Association are the backbone of the anti-wolf movement.
“The OCA needs to be held responsible for the plight of wildlife due to welfare ranching. They need to be held responsible for the plight of wolves,” says Justin Kay of the Animal Defense League. “The vast majority of Oregonians applaud the return of wolves as a welcome homecoming and their sentiments stand in stark contrast to this hysterical legislation in Oregon’s House right now.”
Portland activists infiltrated the OCA’s Spring Quarterly Meeting to disrupt sessions dealing wolf policy and publicly confront Rod Childers, OCA’s Wolf Task Force chairman. Activists occupied the conference room holding a banner reading, “Welfare Ranching Destroys Wildlife” and were forced out after shedding light on the destructive nature of ranching for both “livestock” and wildlife.