Defender Radio and The Switch
Episode 246: BC's Environment Advocate

We’re officially four weeks out from the election today and the excitement is getting… well, it’s pretty much the same as it was. But we’re excited here at The Fur-Bearers because MLA for Vancouver West-End Spencer Chandra Herbert recently sat down with our executive director Lesley Fox to talk about issues facing fur-bearing animals in BC.

As the official opposition’s critic to the Minister of the Environment, Chandra Herbert has his finger on the pulse of many subjects surrounding the environment and wildlife in British Columbia. And that made him the perfect person to join Defender Radio and talk about such issues, as well as the upcoming federal election, why the environment should be top of mind for every Canadian, and why we need to get up and do something about it.

Direct download: 2015-09-28_DefenderRadio.mp3
Category:Season 02 -- posted at: 4:04pm EDT

Episode 245: Special Report - Miley Cyrus and the BC wolves

International pop star Miley Cyrus visited the Great Bear Rainforest in BC with her brother to learn more about the controversial wolf cull and trophy hunting of grizzly bears. Her weekend sojourn was spent with advocates from the Kitasoo/Xais’Xai First Nation, scientists, and staffers from Pacific Wild.

Cyrus spoke to media extensively following her visit, noting that her previous passion to end the wolf cull for moral reasons now had science behind it.

When asked about the international attention being brought to the notorious cull and trophy hunts, Premier Christy Clark merely laughed away concern, and made a remark about Cyrus’s performance-based fashion choices.

Joining us to talk more about the visit of Cyrus, the surprising response of the Premier, and the science behind the #SaveBCWolves movement is Pacific Wild’s April Bencze.

Direct download: 2015-09-23_DefenderRadio.mp3
Category:Season 02 -- posted at: 7:44pm EDT

Episode 244: Voting is your voice

We’re another week closer to the general election in Canada and the rhetoric is flying fast and furious. But despite the ongoing coverage of the election, subjects relating to the environment and particularly to wildlife has been somewhere between minimal and non-existent.

Does this mean that wildlife and the environment aren’t going to be campaign issues, or that the electorate doesn’t care? It’s quite the opposite, according to some new polling released last week by the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW).

The data was released in conjunction with IFAW’s election website, which helps voters identify their local candidates’ views on wildlife and the environment.

To share more with about this program and what Canadians had to say about wildlife and the 2015 election, we were joined by IFAW’s Sheryl Fink, Director of Canadian Wildlife Issues.

Direct download: 2015-09-21_DefenderRadio.mp3
Category:Season 02 -- posted at: 8:40pm EDT

Episode 243: The shocking truth

Millions of our homes – at least half of all those in Canada – are shared with a four-legged friend. As a nation we spend billions of dollars on our pets, and most of us consider our larger pets – dogs and cats – to be members of the family. Despite this, there are a lot of gaps in legislation protecting our pets, including how we train them.

One highly controversial method of dog training includes e-collars, more commonly known as shock collars. Though there is no existing legislation or even consensus among retailers and trainers, there is strong opposition to the use of shock collars from some heavy hitters – and this week we got to hear what they had to say.

The couple behind, Gwendy and Alfie Williams (new partners of the LUSH Charity Pot program), joined us to share their tale of discovery about these devices, as well as what they’ve done in recent years to try and advocate against the use of shock collars. We were also fortunate to hear from renowned trainer, behaviourist and best-selling author Jean Donaldson, who shared her views on the evolution of dog training and the modern use of aversive devices.

Direct download: 2015-09-14_DefenderRadio.mp3
Category:Season 02 -- posted at: 3:14pm EDT

Episode 242: Be a humane voter

Animal lovers know how frustrating politics can be, particularly during an election campaign. Despite the fact that the majority of Canadians have companion animals in their homes, and that the humane treatment of animals and their habitats is a priority for many voters, these issues rarely make it onto the floor of the House of Commons.

And the folks at Animal Justice Canada Legislative Fund want to make that history.

Last week the organization launched Humane Voters Canada, a project that seeks to use election process to influence the legislature to improve the welfare and rights of non-human animals. To introduce us to this new project, how it will function, and how we can all play a role, Defender Radio was joined by Humane Voters Canada Director Jerry Simonelli.

Direct download: 2015-09-07_DefenderRadio.mp3
Category:Season 02 -- posted at: 3:57pm EDT