Target: N. Gunter Guy Jr., Commissioner of the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources
Goal: Encourage the reintroduction of permits allotted to those helping wounded wildlife
Alabama recently stopped issuing permits to people who help rehabilitate hurt wildlife. The Department of Conservation and Natural Resources encourages those who find wild animals to leave them in the wild. They have made a rule banning people from caring for wild animals. Any injured animal that is surrendered to a humane organization must be euthanized under the new rule. The reasoning behind the new rule is not satisfactory and this ban will prove to be the fate of many animals in need.
The assistant chief of wildlife for the Department, Ray Metzler, claims that there is no biological reason for helping injured wildlife. There is a concern that taking in wildlife will do more harm than good, with the risk of disease and rabies affecting the human helpers. However, there are many encouraging successful rehabilitation stories for animals in Alabama; some individuals have dedicated their lives and homes to rehabilitating wildlife. The rule will ban these people from continuing their Samaritan efforts.
Metzler believes that injured animals should be left to fend for themselves, that their death is part of the ecosystem. He notes that wildlife is constantly in a survival of the fittest battle; human intervention is unnatural. The survival of the fittest in a natural ecosystem is only relevant if the ecosystem is completely natural. Many injured wildlife are hit by cars, attacked by domesticated pets and injured from traps or netting put in place by humans. Wildlife is no longer in a fight for survival with its own kind, which would make it more fair. These animals are taken out of their element, threatened in what should be their safe habitat. Because of this humans have an obligation to help these animals in the fight for survival.
The rule banning the rehabilitation of hurt wildlife is not right. Because wildlife is hurt due to human inventions it is the duty of humans to help. Urge the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources to repeal this new rule and allow people to help wildlife in need without interference.
Dear N. Gunter Guy Jr., Commissioner of the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources,
Recently a rule was put in place banning people from taking care of injured wildlife. Those that refuse the rule, and insist on helping wildlife, may face fines and legal action. With all due respect Mr. Guy, the ban and the reasons behind it are unsatisfactory and unfair.
Ray Metzler, the assistant chief of wildlife, claims that rehabilitating wildlife is dangerous and disrupts the ecosystems. An animal in suffering should not be helped because their existence is a battle: the survival of the fittest. This reasoning is not applicable in the situation of wildlife harmed by human involvement. Animals hit by cars, injured by domesticated pets and snared in human made traps are no longer victims of their natural environment; they are victims of our environment. Humans have an obligation to help these animals that are attempting, but failing, at coexisting with us. They cannot be the only creatures trying; as a species we need to be accommodating and willing to help when they need.
People rehabilitate these animals out of compassion. Please repeal the ban on helping wildlife in need. Failing to help these animals does more harm than good.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Wikipedia