What Matt Rice Does Is Lie

The Helena, Montana Independent Record reported on an appearance there by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals anti-circus protesters.

Julie Kelton, 19, stripped seminude in order to protest the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus. She was accompanied by PETA’s Matt Rice who told the Independent Record,

We sometimes have to do interesting and shocking things to get animals the attention they deserve.

But what Matt Rice seems to do is spend his time lying to reporters about PETA’s activities.

In 2004, for example, Rice told reporters that PETA would never use shock tactics with children despite PETA’s repeated promises to do just that.

Rice’s claim that PETA doesn’t target children with shock tactics was as accurate as his claim that Kelton would appear naked.

Interestingly, an opponent of PETA got in a plug about PETA’s habit of killing animals into the story,

At least one passer-by took exception to the protest. Ingrid Rosenquist, a deputy county attorney, said her father is a biomedical researcher, and she has been active in training horses and dogs for competition. Saying she was speaking only for herself, not her employer, Rosenquist said PETA kills animals at its own shelters and supports animal rights terrorists.

As with its other campaign, she said, PETA exaggerates the frequency and severity of mistreatment of circus animals. She referred people to the Web site www.petakillsanimals.com.

Good for Rosenquist.


Semi-naked protester strikes a pose for mistreated circus critters. Ed Kemmick, The Independent Record (Helena, Montana), September 30, 2005.

Montana Cancels Schedule Bison Hunt

Montana’s Fish, Wildlife and Parks Commission on January 10 abruptly canceled a bison hunt that had been scheduled to begin on January 15. The hunt was canceled after concerns by Gov. Brian Schweitzer that the planned hunt might harm the image of his state.

The commission vote 4-1 to cancel the hunt, but reiterates plans to hold a bison hunt in November 2005 — at least until they decide whether or not holding that hunt will harm the state’s image.

Montana canceled its annual hunting of bison that wander out of Yellowstone National Park in 1991, but in 2003 the legislature authorized a return to hunting of the bison to control their numbers and out of fears that the bison might spread the disease brucellosis to cattle herds.


Montana Cancels Bison Hunt Set for Sat.. Associated Press, January 10, 2005.

Wyoming Wolf Plan Likely to Be Decided by Courts

The gray wolf is currently on the endangered species list, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service required Idaho, Montana and Wyoming to submit plans for managing the gray wolf in their states. The USFWS approved Idaho’s and Montana’s, but won’t allow those states to implement their programs until Wyoming submits a suitable plan. Wyoming is sticking to its guns and apparently the courts will end up deciding the matter.

The USFWS rejected Wyoming’s plan even though 10 of 11 wildlife biologists appointed by the federal government approved of the plan. In rejecting Wyoming’s plan, the USFWS said that it objected to the way Wyoming classified gray wolves both as trophy animals and as predators, although the federal government apparently approved of this designation when it was originally passed by Wyoming’s legislature; that Wyoming’s plan to maintain 15 wolf packs was too low, despite the fact that the USFWS expressed its approval in early; and that the minimum size for each wolf pack was not set at six.

In late February, Wyoming’s state House passed HB 111 which reaffirms the dual classification of wolves and sets Wyoming on a legal collision course with the USFWS.


Wyoming wolf plan points to court. Tom Morton, Casper Star Tribune (Wyoming), February 21, 2004.

State may sue feds over wolves. Bill Luckett, Casper Star Tribune (Wyoming), February 3, 2004.

Bill to Ban Bison Slaughter Introduced In U.S. House

In late 2003 Rep. Maurice Hinchey (D-NY) introduced a bill that would ban the slaughter of Yellowstone National Park bison on federal lands was again introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives.

The Bozeman Daily Chronicle reports that the bill has picked up 42 co-sponsors in the House, but even if it should squeak by there it would face steep opposition in the U.S. Senate.

Montana Department of Livestock spokeswoman Karen Cooper told the Bozeman Daily Chronicle that the slaughter of bison was necessary to fight brucellosis — a disease carried by some Yellowstone bison that could potentially infect cattle herds in Montana,

The state remains brucellosis free, and we have close to a record [bison] population, so it seems to be successful in that realm.

Opponents of the bison slaughter, on the other hand, note that thereÂ’s not a single documented case of brucellosis spreading from bison to cattle in the wild.

The full text of the proposed bison slaughter ban can be read here.


Bill to ban slaughter of bison advances. Scott McMillion, Bozeman Daily Chronicle, January 17, 2004.

Idaho Anti-Wolf Coalition Closes in on Bringing Anti-Wolf Lawsuit

According to the Spokane Spokesman Review, the Idaho Anti-Wolf Coalition is nearing its fund raising goal of $150,000 for a planned lawsuit against state and federal officials over the reintroduction of gray wolves to Idaho.

Wolves had been eradicated in Idaho in the early 20th century, but were reintroduced in the state in 1995. Since then the wolves have thrived, leading environmentalists to hail the success of the reintroduction program, while farmers, hunters and others argue it has been an unmitigated disaster for Idaho wildlife.

In 2001, the state passed a resolution expressing its desire to have the wolves removed from Idaho “by any means necessary.”

Much of the debate turns on disputes over the number of wolves and their hunting habits. Federal and state officials estimate there are less than 300 wolves in Idaho. The Idaho Anti-Wolf Coalition maintains there are between 800 and 1,000 wolves. Similarly, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service argues that each wolf eats the equivalent of one elk per month, while the Anti-Wolf Coalition claims they eat closer to two elk per month and kill the equivalent of four additional elk.

The Coalition seeks two things — they want “the immediate removal of the Canadian gray wolf from Idaho” and they want compensation from federal, state, and environmental groups for the taking of wildlife by the wolves.

The gray wolf in Idaho, Montana and Wyoming is currently on the endangered species list. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has made it clear that it will delist the gray wolf as soon as all three state provide plans for managing the wolf populations that can meet its approval. In January the USFWS approved both Idaho’s and Montana’s plan to use a combination of trapping and hunting to manage the wolf population, but so far has rejected Wyoming’s plan which would allow farmers and others to shoot wolves on sight in some circumstances.

Until Wyoming submits a plan that passes muster with the USFWS, however, neither Idaho nor Montana will be allowed to manage its wolf population.


Crowd favors getting rid of wolves – Idaho Anti-Wolf Coalition says support growing. James Hagengruber, Spokane Spokesman-Review (Washington state), January 12, 2004.

Idaho coalition seeks to eliminate fast-breeding wolf. Valerie Richardson, THe Washington Times, October 19, 2003.

Idaho’s wolf plan approved by feds. James Hagengruber, Spokane Spokesman Review (Washington state), January 15, 2004.

Montana Lawmakers Pass Bison Hunt Bill

In April the Montana Senate and House of Representatives approved a bill that would allow that states Fish, Wildlife and Parks Commission to create a limited hunt of bison targeting those animals that stray out of Yellowstone National Park.

Before approving the bill, legislators removed a provision that would have prevented out-of-state hunters from taking part in such a hunt, and set the price for bison tags at $75 for Montana residents and $750 for out-of-state hunters. The hunt is motivated in part by the fact that bison in Yellowstone carry the bovine disease brucellosis which some fear could spread to cattle in that state.

Fish, Wildlife and Parks Director Jeff Hagener told the Billings Gazette that if the bill is signed into law by Montana Governor Judy Martz, any hunt is still at least a year away.

The Fund for Animals was quick with a press release decrying the proposed hunt. According to a Fund for Animals press release,

Hunting bison allegedly for disease control purposes lacks scientific basis. Given that there has never been a documented case of bison transmitting the disease brucellosis to livestock in the wild, there is no justification for hunting bison for disease “management.” To claim otherwise, is to mislead the public and to cave in to the unsubstantiated fears of the livestock industry.

The Fund is apparently planning to launch a tourist boycott of Montana if the bison hunt resumes.


Fund for Animals Alert, April 9, 2003.

Panel OKs opening bison hunt. Jennifer McKee, Billings Gazette, April 17, 2003.