WSPA endorses campaign to protect animals in Arizona

Oct 12, 2010

October, 2010

The World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA) has endorsed the “No on 109” campaign to help protect animals in Arizona. This campaign has received support from animal welfare, wildlife conservation, and environmental groups, and local businesses; it urges Arizonans to vote “No” on Proposition 109 (Prop. 109), which will appear on Arizona’s ballot on Nov. 2.

If passed, Prop. 109 will give politicians exclusive authority over wildlife issues such as hunting and fishing regulations. Instead of the state’s wildlife agency, scientists and wildlife professionals who have training and expertise in wildlife management, Arizona’s politicians would be afforded the power to make decisions on wildlife policy based on partisan politics. Prop. 109 would limit the role of Arizona’s voters in supporting wildlife protection policies and weaken Arizona’s ability to prevent wildlife crime, which would be disastrous for all animals in the state.

Specifically, the measure would do the following:

Undermine science-based wildlife management practices. Currently, wildlife management decisions in Arizona are based on sound science. If passed, Prop. 109 would take direct oversight of future wildlife policies and initiatives away from Arizona Game and Fish Commission – the state agency with the expertise and experience to make scientifically-based decisions – and, instead, give it to special interest groups and politicians. The Arizona Game and Fish Commission would be required to get permission from politicians to make decisions concerning the management, conservation, and protection of wildlife and fisheries resources in Arizona.

Jeopardize previous voter-approved wildlife protections. Prop. 109 would allow politicians to overturn previously-approved wildlife protection ballot measures. For example, it could nullify the 1994 ballot initiative banning cruel and indiscriminate steel-jawed leghold traps and poisons on public lands throughout the state.

Open the door to illegal poaching and expensive legal challenges from poaching criminals. The vague language of Prop. 109 would provide poachers with a legal loophole to continue illegal and inhumane wildlife killing practices. It could also subject the state to expensive legal challenges from poaching criminals, and cost millions in taxpayer dollars by opening the door to frivolous lawsuits.

Attack voting rights. Statutory ballot initiatives have been used by citizens in the past to protect animals when Arizona’s legislature failed to take action. Prop. 109 would undermine this process by prohibiting future statutory ballot initiatives on wildlife protection issues. Prop. 109 attacks voting rights related to wildlife today, but it could open the floodgates to putting other voting rights at risk in the future.

We need your help to protect Arizona’s animals. Arizona residents, please vote “No” on Prop. 109 on Nov. 2.

To learn more, please visit No on 109.

Thank you for protecting wildlife in Arizona!


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