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From Animal Defenders of Westchester (ADOW)

We advocate on all animal protection and exploitation issues, including experimentation, factory farming, rodeos, breeders and traveling animal acts.

DEC Illegal Bias Disgrace: Only Animal Killers Allowed on Advisory Board


October 10, 2015

Kiley Blackman

DEC Illegal Bias Disgrace: Only Animal Killers Allowed on Advisory Board

Why is there a law state saying only hunters can advise a 'Wildlife Conservation' Agency?

New York, NY   It has recently come to light that the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has a legal requirement that applicants must be avowed animal killers to be employed by its Advisory Board - http://www.dec.ny.gov/about/566.html

From the Website:

" At the time of designation, board members must hold a valid New York state hunting, fishing or trapping license and have held one three years prior."

This discovery adds to the mounting litany of complaints, exposes and investigations aimed at altering and restricting current govt activities of these and ancillary agencies. A bill was introduced by two Congressmen which would restrict WS lethal activities; in NYS a senate bill would insure its transparency and accountability  (S6655/A8934).

According to a highly critical October 2, 2015 UCS report on related agency Fish and Wildlife Services:

"Use of federal advisory committees. Expert advice from scientific advisory committees should be free from political or special-interest interference in order for agency decisions to be fully informed by science. Selection processes and deliberations of federal advisory committees should be public. Conflicts of interest should be minimized. As directed by the presidential directive on scientific integrity, agencies should develop clear standards for governing conflict of interest and any conflict of interest waivers granted should be publicly disclosed."

The same report calls for transparency in decision-making and very limited use of "personal views."

Read Progress and Problems: Government Scientists Report on Scientific Integrity at Four Agencies (2015).

The NY Times quotes a source as saying, "A growing body of science has found the agency's war against predators, waged to protect livestock and big game, is altering ecosystems in ways that diminish biodiversity, degrade habitat and invite disease."

Read Agriculture's Misnamed Agency. And now their highly suspect employment requirement comes to light.  

Attorney Del Seligman, who filed a Notice of Dangerous Condition regarding hunting in lower Westchester, uncovered the information on the DEC's ban against non-hunters for its Advisory Board.  She is looking into the constitutionality of this ban, which she opines is discriminatory as well, and is checking case law for any challenges.

"This legal proviso excludes every single humane non-hunting NYS resident from serving on their board, to protect their own special interests. Having an advisory board for a wildlife protection agency composed solely of hunters is akin to having a medical advisory board staffed by undertakers."  

Kiley Blackman, founder of Animal Defenders of Westchester, said,  "The media must expose this blatant special-interest, lethal bias by a government agency - dedicated to 'environmental protection' of all things. Animals are suffering and dying because agencies like the DEC make their own rules with no oversight, to favor hunters, which is outrageous. Our tax dollars support these agencies.  It is an almost incredible situation that only hunters need apply - for a civil service job, no less. As the public becomes more aware of such abuses by the government - and more sympathetic toward the plight of animals - .these misdeeds must be corrected. The media can nobly assist in this process by exposing this unfair practice; please don't turn your backs on the misery of the voiceless.'

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