Defender Radio and The Switch

New research from Dr. Adrian Treves and his colleagues Drs. Francisco Santiago-Avila and Ari Cornman highlights that lethal management of wolves to prevent depredation of livestock on properties in Michigan may be ineffective and could create detrimental effects for neighbouring properties.

The paper, titled Killing wolves to prevent predation on livestock may protect one farm but harm neighbors, was published by Public Library of Science, or PLOS One earlier this month. The researchers were given access to 16 years of data on wolf depredation and control in Upper Michigan and used multiple methods to analyze it. What they found was, in their words, that “given the evidence available, we cannot conclude that lethal management had the desired effect of preventing future livestock losses.

There is also evidence of a spill-over effect to other properties in the region.

The questions raised by this study play into a paper published by Dr. Treves with several colleagues in Nature Ecology and Evolution, titled Intergenerational equity can help to prevent climate change and extinction. This is an important subject that combines ethics, environmental sciences, and how we as a society, and as a species, must look at what we’re doing today and how it will impact tomorrow’s world.

Dr. Adrian Treves of the Carnivore Coexistence Lab at the University of Wisconsin-Madison joined Defender Radio to explore the implications of his latest wolf depredation study, the importance of adapting policies to match science, and how we can all play a role in safeguarding wildlife and the environment for future generations.

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Direct download: 2018-01-29_Defender-Radio-Podcast-Treves-Wolves-Depredation.mp3
Category:Season 05 -- posted at: 6:17pm EDT

Cat declawing sounds like a reasonable way to prevent damage to furniture and homes, and keep cats who may be given to shelters with families. But the science simply doesn’t support any of it – and declawing isn’t even what it sounds like.

In this special report, I connected with Dr. Margie Scherk, a veterinarian who specializes in feline medicine and surgery, and wants the College of Veterinarians of British Columbia to outlaw the practice. According to a CBC article, nearly 80 per cent of BC vets who responded to the survey support a ban on declawing, and 62 per cent already stopped conducting the procedure themselves.

Dr. Scherk is hoping that greater public awareness on the truth about cat declawing and support for a petition she has created will push the College into moving forward with a ban – something that happened in Nova Scotia just last December.

This special report is brought to you by our wonderful Patrons – become a supporter at to help the show grow and increase our audience, and gain access to exclusive content.

Sign the petition:

Direct download: 2018-01-25_Defender-Radio-Podcast-511-Cat-Declawing.mp3
Category:Season 05 -- posted at: 4:06pm EDT

The International Fund for Animal Welfare, or IFAW, has a campaign called the Northern Dogs Project. On the face of it, the program is straightforward: assist remote First Nations communities in Quebec and Canada to live with dogs in a positive way and manage populations humanely. But it’s a lot more than that – and it has less to do with dogs than you may think.

Jan Hannah, manager of the Northern Dogs Project, joined Defender Radio to discuss the project, the history of working with Cree and Anishinaabe communities, and why it matters that as advocates we focus on listening.

Before we get to the interview, I want to acknowledge how sensitive a subject this is. Colonialism and intergenerational trauma are subjects I don’t have a firm grasp on as I have not studied or researched extensively in this area, nor had the opportunity to be immersed in this culture. I do understand that they impact the lives of First Nations, Metis and Inuit people and society significantly. The reason I wanted to do this episode is because it’s a subject that we as animal advocates and compassionate individuals must try to learn more about. I believe that IFAW’s method of working with communities through listening is a concept we can all learn from.

I believe we all can have a positive impact on the people around us, regardless of race, ethnicity, religion, or history, so long as we move forward with compassion and respect, and accept responsibility for the errors we have made, and those that we continue to make. And if this is a subject of interest to you, I recommend that you visit the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada website or visit your local library to learn more about colonialism, intergenerational trauma, and the cultures and history of First Nations, Metis, and Inuit people of this land. I'll be doing that myself.

Direct download: 2018-01-22_Defender-Radio-Podcast-Northern-Dogs-Project.mp3
Category:Season 05 -- posted at: 6:12pm EDT

Fashion Animals, set to be published by Vegan Publishers and funded through Indiegogo, takes on the fur fashion industry in a whole new way. Fashion Animals was a labour of love for Joshua Katcher, who spent five years developing it, compiling research, data and a spectacular archive of rare images. Joshua joined Defender Radio from the road to discuss the writing of Fashion Animals, what readers and Indiegogo supporters can expect, and how he believes it will change the lives of countless animals around the world. 


See the Indiegogo campaign at

Direct download: 2018-01-15_DefenderRadio-Podcast-Fashion-Animals-Joshua-Katcher.mp3
Category:Season 05 -- posted at: 5:23pm EDT

The law exists to protect everyone, and for advocates like us, that includes non-human animals. Canadian law isn’t quite there yet, but the folks at Animal Justice are always working to change that. And pretty soon, you’ll be able to hear a little bit more about the ins and outs of the legal fight for animals.

Paw and Order, the new podcast from Animal Justice, is set to release its first episodes this month. Animal Justice Executive Director Camille Labchuk board member and law professor Peter Sankoff will talk about the organization’s cases, legal news that relates to animals, and more in the new show. It’s an exciting prospect, as the intricacies of law, especially animal law, is hard to communicate in brief media clips – this in-depth discussion format will be fascinating for animal lovers of all stripes.

Become a Patron of Defender Radio and help grow the show and support The Fur-Bearers, and also get access to exclusive bonus content at

Direct download: 2018-01-08_Defender-Radio-Podcast-Paw-and-Order.mp3
Category:Season 05 -- posted at: 10:09am EDT