Bills support animal protections

I got the chance recently, during the Humane Society of the United States’ Minnesota Humane Lobby Week, March 15-19, to talk with our area Minnesota legislators about the following four bills:

• Dogs and cats, SF 370/HF 858: not for sale in stores

• Wild wolves, SF 1144/HF 1498: no recreational hunting or trapping season

• Pets and companion animals, SF 335/HF 1852: no euthanasia by asphyxiation (i.e., in non-anesthetic “gas chambers”) at animal shelters or pounds

• Wild turtles, SF 1394/HF 387: no commercial harvest 

These bills would improve protections for innocent animals from the careless, and sometimes violent and hateful, actions of people who are harming them now.

As a society, we could do a lot to improve our protections for animals. Why? To make this a kinder world, a world that is less obliging to the careless and sometimes violent and hateful people who want to pursue their own agendas in the name of "personal freedoms," "constitutional rights," "free will," and/or other corruptions of actual principles of democracy. Yes, these people will certainly accuse us animal advocates—loudly—of challenging their "rights," etc., and yes, they'll convince movements of like-minded people to support them in their opposition to protections for animals, but no, they won't be doing so in any true sense of democracy.

Scott Slocum

White Bear Lake


Clip swan story

The article on March 17, “Swan deaths spur effort to ban lead tackle,” should be read by all Minnesotans. In addition, I ask Press Publications readers to clip the article, as I am doing, and mail it this week to a fisherman you know. Fishing opener is coming. Let’s open up a dialogue with people who can help reverse the trend of dead waterfowl being documented by human witnesses. A 3-year death total in Sucker Lake, with 22 dead swans? And 25% of loons- our beloved state bird- dead from ingesting lead-based tackle? It’s the classic “canary in the coal mine.” 

The time to act is now. Please support HF157 and SF247, and contact your representatives and senators.

Sandy Waterman 

Vadnais Heights

(3) comments

Scott Slocum

Sorry about how I got off-subject at the end of my letter to the editor about HSUS Humane Lobby Week. The main points of my letter were the ways that we, as a society, can make this world a kinder place for animals, and a more pleasant place for people.

Apparently, when I was writing this letter, I wasn't feeling totally positive about how we can make improvements like these, but was also feeling angry about how bad things can be, now, for animals, as things are, without these improvements.

My negative feelings are my own, and weren't inspired by, nor included in, the experience of HSUS Humane Lobby Week.

Scott Slocum

Thanks to Sandy Waterman for writing in about the proposed Minnesota restrictions on the use, sale, and manufacture of certain lead jigs and lead sinkers: HF 157 / SF 247.

Other U.S. States have led the way on this issue. The FAQ at BiCO jigs says that "there are currently laws against the use and/or selling of lead jigs in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maine, Vermont, New York, and Washington. They are not 'illegal' in Minnesota and Michigan, but lead-free tackle is strongly encouraged there."

Yes, it would require Minnesota fishermen to switch to non-toxic jigs and sinkers--as fishermen in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maine, Vermont, New York, and Washington State have already done.

It's a good proposal that will save the lives of wild waterfowl (swans, loons, cranes, ducks, geese, and others).

Scott Slocum

A good way to learn more about waterfowl poisoning by lead fishing tackle is to search Press Publications for "lead fishing tackle".

For example: Bussjaeger, Jackie. “Swans and Loons Will Benefit from Get the Lead Out Program.” Press Publications. February 26, 2020.

We have good leadership on this issue from area legislators including Rep. Fischer, Sen. Wiger, Rep. Wazlawik, and others.

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