Friday 4 April 2014

Lack of Proper Oversight Of Cougar Hunting In America

Big cat rescue make a point that had occurred to me for long time which is that the state governmental agencies who regulate the hunting of the cougar are funded through the license fees that permit people to hunt. This must be an incorrect and ill-thought out process.

If the regulatory agencies are funded by license fees then they will naturally wish to hand out as many licenses as they possibly can which will lead to a tendency to issue too many licenses for the sake of increased income. If too many licences are issued then too many cougars are shot and in addition the regulatory agency is no longer doing its job in protecting wildlife and ensuring that there is a balance between people and cat.

Because too many cougars are shot, the agency then have to sell the idea to the public that there are plenty of cougars about. Do they concoct sightings and are the sightings of escaped pet cougars?

The fees earned through licences should go to the state treasury and the regulatory agencies should receive a fixed budget from the state government. There should be no motivation or bias created through income. Their role is not to be a business but to be a totally unbiased regulator whose underlying goal is to protect wildlife and maintain a balance between wildlife and people. Even that goal is impossible because the population of people is consistently growing and therefore the balance between people and wildlife is consistently changing in the direction of less wildlife and more people. So where is the balance between the two?

I can remember the shell oil spill. Do you remember that? It was a massive ecological disaster in the Gulf of Mexico. The way I see it is that the regulatory authorities dishing out licenses to oil companies were getting backhanders to allow unsafe practices which in this instance led to this massive ecological disaster.

I have no evidence to support my allegation but that's the way it seems to me and it is very similar to what is going on with respect to the wildlife and fishery agencies. They simply are not doing their job.

I also reminded of the Florida panther. The population of the Florida panther is fixed and about 100 and they live in a fixed island (meaning enclosed and a fixed size) habitat. Commercial development continues to take place in Florida placing ever more pressure on the habitat of the Florida panther. There are more buildings, more roads and more people in the same space. What is the wildlife agency doing in Florida to protect their precious cougar? Is someone getting backhanders? And I'm cynical but that is the way it seems to me.

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