Hunting and fishing at risk in Delaware

October 29, 2013

For some time now, Delaware outdoorsmen and women have worried about Jack Markell’s animal rights agenda in his cabinet. We felt that the camel’s nose was in the tent with the hiring of a young Californian to head the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control and a director of the Division of Fish and Wildlife with bunny hugger leanings.

Last week, Markell pushed the camel into the tent with the hiring of Hettie Brown to head up a newly-formed position of animal welfare director.

So much for Markell’s transparency in government and responsible spending of taxpayer funding. In other times, this would have been an act of overt collusion, but in today’s modern world, it’s politics as usual.

Hettie Brown served as the Delaware state director of the Humane Society of the U.S., a group whose avowed mission is to give animals (including farm livestock) the same rights as humans and to end all “blood sports.”  To further her cause, she served as a professional lobbyist to the Delaware Legislature.

She was able to get the ear of  animal rights friend and state Sen. Patricia Blevens, D-Elsmere. When the contractual difficulties between the Kent County SPCA and Safe Haven Animal Sanctuary came to odds with Kent County Levy Court funding, the resulting melee provided a perfect excuse. Blevins sought and gained approval of forming an Animal Welfare Task Force.

She slipped Brown, a paid professional lobbyist, into the role as a “public member” to decide if such an office was necessary.  Like the two wolves and a sheep deciding what to have for dinner, the outcome was inevitable. What was more blatant, however, was that Brown would have a decision in the state hiring her as the director of the division she was advocating.

During what I refer to as the “coyote wars” a few months back, we conservationists were a bit surprised when it was announced that Brown would be leaving her post at HSUS. Ever mindful of deviousness, we wondered aloud why she would leave such a lucrative position without having had a better offer someplace else. It’s now obvious what that position was.

When asked about her duties and responsibilities after her appointment, she remarked that she would refrain from speaking about them until she’d assumed the position. That kind of demureness should strike a shiver in the heart of every farmer and outdoors person in the state.

Though Markell claims that this position is to insure humane treatment of dogs and cats, are we to be so gullible as to think that an avowed animal rights activist in a position of promulgating regulations and directives without legislative approval won’t soon be deciding that chicken, pig, and cattle farmers don’t need routine “inspections” and be “fined” for indiscretions?

Are we to think someone who disavowed all “blood sports” won’t significantly affect hunting and fishing? If that’s so, I have some cheap moon rocks to sell you.

George Roof



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