IDA Writing Alert: Lawsuit aims to stop wild turkey hunt on California island

January 12th, 2007 2:56 pm by Kelly Garbato

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From: In Defense of Animals – takeaction [at] idausa.org
Date: Jan 12, 2007 1:12 PM
Subject: Writing Alert: Lawsuit aims to stop wild turkey hunt on California island

The Monterey Herald and numerous other publications published an article on IDA and Rick Feldman’s lawsuit to try to stop the killing of wild turkeys on Santa Cruz Island. Please write a letter to the editor of the Herald, urging officials to stop the killing and look for humane ways to deal with unwanted animals. Send letters to mheditor [at] montereyherald.com.

Read “Lawsuit aims to stop wild turkey hunt on California island” online.

Lawsuit aims to stop wild turkey hunt on California island

Associated Press

LOS ANGELES – An animal rights group has sued the National Park Service and The Nature Conservancy in an attempt to stop the eradication of wild turkeys on Santa Cruz Island off the Central California coast.

The lawsuit, filed Tuesday by In Defense of Animals and a private citizen in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles, alleges the defendants have hired an Australian company called ProHunt to eradicate the turkeys in an attempt to protect the island’s natural habitat.

Wild turkeys were introduced to the 96-square-mile island off Santa Barbara in 1972 by a rancher. Scientists have said the kills are necessary because turkeys provide prey for golden eagles, who also kill the island’s endangered foxes.

Thousands of feral pigs have been killed on the island during the past 18 months for the same reason.

The Nature Conservancy owns about 76 percent of the island, while the National Park Service owns the rest.

Yvonne Menard, a spokeswoman for the National Park Service, said no wild turkeys had been killed on federal land. She said she could not comment on the lawsuit because she had not seen it.

Julie Benson, a spokeswoman for The Nature Conservancy, was out of town and could not be reached for comment Wednesday. Her assistant said no one could comment because of the lawsuit.

Last month, Benson said professional hunters had killed about 250 of 300 wild turkeys on the island to protect the rare foxes. She said the birds had been killed on The Nature Conservancy’s portion of the island, which is part of Channel Islands National Park, because the flock spends most of its time there.

Richard Feldman, a plaintiff in the lawsuit, said he could find no official record of a decision to kill wild turkeys.

“If you’d let nature take its course, things would probably be better. They killed off the pigs and now they say there’s too many turkeys,” Feldman said. “Next thing you know, they’ll be killing off foxes. These people are just kill-crazy.”

Feldman was unsuccessful in an earlier lawsuit to stop the eradication of the island pigs. That case is on appeal before the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.

Be sure to include your full name, address, and phone number (for verification purposes–street names and phone numbers will not be published). Letters should be less than 200 words. Please do not forward or cross-post this message.

Thank you for writing and good luck!

Sincerely,
Kristie Phelps
Communications Director

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In Defense of Animals is an international animal protection organization with more than 85,000 members and supporters dedicated to ending the abuse and exploitation of animals by protecting their rights and welfare. IDA’s efforts include educational events, cruelty investigations, boycotts, grassroots activism, and hands-on rescue through our sanctuaries in Mississippi and Cameroon, Africa.

In Defense of Animals 3010 Kerner Blvd., San Rafael, California 94901 – P: (415) 388-9641 F: (415) 388-0388

email: ida [at] idausa.org

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