Cuomo Vetoes Protective Swan Bill – So Trappers can Trap and Hunters can Hunt

While we in the animal protective movement understand the huge political and economic forces operating against the welfare of animals, we still are taken aback by many angles that we discover while researching a topic.

As almost 3,000 petition names were being sent to the NYS Governor, as calls were pouring in to his office, as appeals were being made by people in and out of the animal protection movement, the other side was active as well. But who “woulda thunk” that the trappers would have weighed in? That miniscule group of ragtag misfits actually had an economic interest is seeing the bill fail. 

A certain Mr. Mike Rossi, who goes by the modest name of “Elite NY Hunter,” posted the following to a hunting forum website prior to the, frankly, expected veto.  We are quoting him verbatim:

One reason biologists justify trapping is the protection of ground nesting birds, not just game birds like turkeys, but for threatened and endanger species. If NY decides an invasive species is more important than native imperiled species, how will they rate the activity of trapping?

One imperiled bird, although helped by trapping, is also impacted by BOTH mute swans and trapping. The King Rail. Biologists work to reduce threats and impacts. Nobody suggested banning legholds for muskrats to conserve King Rails, but if Queens NY [this reference is to Tony Avella, a Queens Democrat, who introduced the bill to protect the mute swan] decides which threat to reduce, where is the law going?

Muskrat populations are going down and mute swan populations are going up and colonizing new areas. It is unlikely that mute swans are the causative factor for the decline in muskrats, but they are not helping the situation either, just as they compromise other native species.

Rossi posts images that you can view at, and writes: “If you have not contacted Governor Cuomo about the mute swan legislation, do so before Midnight Wednesday December 17, 2014. Politely request that Governor Cuomo VETOES the ‘Tony Avella Mute Swan Bill’ so that conservation and conservation funding does not get UNDERMINDED” [sic].

Elite NY Hunter then put out a letter for his fellow hunters to send to Gov. Cuomo, as though Cuomo really needed it.

Dear Governor Cuomo,

I urge you to VETO senate bill 065889-A and assembly bill 08770-A. The conservation of wildlife and their habitats need to be done cooperatively across state and national boundaries. The cooperation of NY was anticipated by the Atlantic Flyway Council in the effort to eradicate mute swans. Lack of cooperation would undermine the conservation of native migratory wildlife as well as the states native non-migratory wildlife and wetland habitats. Migratory wildlife is a shared resource, and mute swans impact this resource and their wetland habitats. It would not be responsible for the state or any section of the state to either harbor mute swans or to become a source habitat from which mute swans hatched and protected in NY spread across state or national boundaries. Likewise it would not be responsible to fail to protect native wildlife and wetland habitats within NY.

Still not satisfied, Rossi created a Care petition which garnered a whopping 302 signatures!
Compare that to the GooseWatch-NYC petition that had close to 2,700 signatures!

The Elite NY Hunter’s petition reads:

If you had a chance to block a measure that would…
• Be harmful to native wildlife
• Be harmful to wetland habitats
• Be harmful to the conservation fund
• Blocks new hunting opportunity
• Allows Animal Rights Organizations to over-rule the DEC
•  Emboldens animal rights organizations and sets new precedents on policy decisions
Would you act on that chance? Here is your opportunity. Sign this petition and ask others to do the same!

He shows the photo here, along with other photos, attempting to link mute swans to the reduction of fish, muskrats, king rails and other birds, and especially Canada geese, a prime hunting species.

State game agencies, hunters and trappers, will stop at nothing to continue profiting from the killing of wildlife. That includes the killing of wild animals who interfere with their over-production of certain species.

The nightmare of wildlife management for hunting and trapping must come to an end.
Wildlife Watching must become the primary mode of “recreational enjoyment of wildlife” for the sake of all the species. Wildlife managers are responsible for so much suffering and abuse. Brave and sympathetic lawmakers like Tony Avella are needed to pass laws that will protect animals from human greed.


Contact Us

Committee to Abolish Sport Hunting / C.A.S.H.
P.O. Box 562
New Paltz, NY 12561