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In recent weeks, Sen. Mike Phillips introduced wildlife protecting bills to the Montana Legislature. Supporters of these bills outnumbered the opponents three to one. Regrettably, Montana’s Senate Fish and Game Committee rejected them all.

SB185 would have prohibited hunting of four Yellowstone wolves outside the park’s boundaries. Out of an estimated population of 850 wolves in Montana, 315 have been killed this hunting season. This unprecedented high number is apparently not enough for the committee, who couldn’t find the decency to save four naive Yellowstone wolves, who become sitting ducks when they unknowingly step outside the park.

SB186 would have prohibited wildlife killing contests, but the bill was tabled. Chair Sen. Jennifer Fielder qualified the threatening behavior of some opponents to these “derbies” as “abhorrent.” While the use of threats by either side cannot be condoned, what is really abhorrent is the promotion of a culture of violence and the encouragement of mass slaughter of wildlife.

Lastly, SB187 would have prohibited the use of motor vehicles to chase or kill wildlife. These cruel, barbaric practices have no place in our society. The bill had no opponents, yet the committee tabled it. By doing so they chose to embrace bloodlust and sociopathic tendencies.

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It is past time for Montana voters to elect officials that condemn cruelty towards animals, promote empathy towards all sentient beings, adhere to the principles of the Wildlife Trust Doctrine, and respect the will of the majority as opposed to the whinings of a few.

Catherine Frizat

Burbank, California

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