It is a seldom appreciated fact that crimes against wildlife are a violation and insult, not only for the animals but also for society as a whole. One of the first models utilized to respond to the indiscriminate slaughter of widespread populations of wildlife by early pioneers, is the North American Model of Wildlife Conservation. It incorporates 7 basic principles as follows:
1. Wildlife as a public trust resource. 2. Elimination of markets for wildlife. 3. Allocation of wildlife by law. 4. Wildlife can only be killed for a legitimate purpose. 5. Wildlife is considered an international resource. 6. Science is the proper tool for discharge of wildlife policy. 7. Democracy of hunting.(Geist et al., 2001):
While this model has been largely interpreted to favor consumptive users to the detriment of the needs of non-consumptive wildlife advocates, it is still extremely pertinent as a standard to identify criminal behavior. As you look over the protocols that hunters set for themselves you will see just how badly they were let down by the perpetrators of this illegitimate killing. As far as those of us who appreciate wildlife without the need to kill it, our trust-the Public Trust-is debased by such egregious acts. Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks is correct in taking their responsibility-as trustees for the natural fortune that we all own-very seriously.