For Immediate Release: Contact:
October 8, 2014
Humane Society of the United States Attempts to Muzzle Maine’s Bear Experts, Maine People Overwhelming in Their Support of MEDIFW Participation
Augusta, Maine- The Humane Society of the United States, a well funded, extreme animal rights, Washington D.C. lobbying organization here in Maine under the guise of a front group called Mainers for Fair Bear Hunting, has asked for an emergency injunction to muzzle Maine’s bear experts, including biologists and game wardens at the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife.
The Humane Society of the United States has bankrolled the Yes on 1 campaign since early in 2013, according to public campaign finance reports filed with the Maine Ethics Commission.
“This is a blatant attempt by HSUS to suppress the most knowledgeable experts on Maine’s bear population from communicating with voters about the negative and dangerous impacts of Question 1 based on their scientific research for the past 40 years,” said James Cote of the Maine Wildlife Conservation Council. “The fact is, Maine people believe strongly that the biologists and game wardens at the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife should have a voice on this issue. If this were an issue dealing with education, we would demand that the Department of Education weigh in, why is this any different?”
Recent polling, as of Tuesday, October 7th, shows overwhelming support of Maine people for the Department to have a voice on this issue. In a question posed to 500 Maine voters on October 5 and 6, 69% of respondents said that the Department should be allowed to comment, and only 18% of respondents said the Department should not be allowed to comment. 13% were undecided. (Question is attached to this release).
“Mainers for Fair Bear Hunting understandably wants to muzzle the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife. They don’t want the public to know that Question 1 removes their ability to control the bear population, and by doing so puts the public at risk. They certainly don’t want voters to know that their entire campaign has been financed by a Washington DC- based lobbying group. They know that once the public knows the facts about Question 1, they will reject it. The Department has an obligation to let the voters know the impact of Question 1: that it is bad for bears, and risky for people,” said James Cote.