Defender Radio and The Switch

Before we get started, I want to put out a general advisory – in this episode we will be speaking in a matter-of-fact tone about the cruelty of snare traps and the poison strychnine. You will hear details about how these devices work and the devastation they cause in plain language and that may be upsetting to some listeners.

Dr. Gilbert Proulx has seen a lot in his years as a field biologist. And he’s had enough.

Dr. Proulx runs Alpha Wildlife Research and Management Limited, where he conducts in-field research, writes and edits studies, consults with landowners, businesses, and governments, and publishes papers on a variety of wildlife-related issues. Dr. Proulx has often delved into science-based ethical topics, too, and that’s the basis of his latest publication.

There is a clear body of evidence that killing neck snares and strychnine poison are inhumane – some of it developed by Dr. Proulx himself – yet trappers and governments continue to endorse both methods of killing for thousands of animals every year. Dr. Proulx’s new book, Intolerable Cruelty: The Truth Behind Kiling Neck Snares and Strychnine, is an accumulation of hard evidence, experience, and a clear case to end the use of these inhumane tools.

Dr. Proulx joined Defender Radio to discuss killing neck snares and strychnine in detail, as well as alternatives to lethal control and why governments, wildlife managers, and trappers continue to use methods that can scientifically and ethically be defined as cruel.

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Direct download: Defender_Radio_Podcast_609_Gilbert_Proulx_Snares_Strychnine.mp3
Category:Season 06 -- posted at: 4:19pm EDT

The  World Wildlife Fund issued their bi-annual Living Planet report in late October, and it painted a dark reality: humanity has wiped out 60% of animal life on the planet since the 1970s, and that we are marching toward ecological disaster due to our consumption of food and resources.

The media had something of a field day with this – experts from WWF and other organizations spoke at length on the various aspects of the Living Planet report, often using broad terms such as humanity or society. But one essay challenged readers to consider a more specific issue – capitalism.

Dr. Anna Pigott, a postdoctoral research fellow studying environmental humanities at Swansea University in Wales, penned the essay titled “Capitalism is killing the world’s wildlife populations, not ‘humanity’”.

Dr. Pigott joined Defender Radio to discuss the essay and her motivations for writing it, managing the curious comments and conversation that have arisen online, and what it means to imagine solutions to socioecological concerns.

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Direct download: Defender_Radio_Podcast_608_Capitalism_and_Conservation.mp3
Category:Season 06 -- posted at: 5:01pm EDT

Changes at the OSPCA, concerns about an NGO being in law enforcement, and the importance of filing reports, complaints, and creating paper trails are discussed with Animal Justice Executive Director Camille Labchuk.

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Direct download: Defender_Radio_Podcast_607_Animal_Law_Camille_Labchuk.mp3
Category:Season 06 -- posted at: 6:07pm EDT

If you follow host Michael Howie on social media, you’ll know that last week his dog JJ required emergency surgery for a critical, and unpredictable ailment. Fortunately, he knew how to identify this deadly illness and was able to get her to the Mississauga Oakville Emergency Veterinary Hospital in time. Surgery was performed around 2 am Friday morning, and JJ was declared fit to come home and recover Saturday afternoon.

As a result, this special report is going to focus on bloat (Gastric Dilatation and volvulus or GDV) – what it is, how to identify it, and some simple measures to help mitigate risks. This is not a replacement for medical advice, and you should immediately contact a veterinarian if you’re concerned your dog is ill. The articles referenced from can be found by clicking here.

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Direct download: Defender_Radio_Podcast_606_Dog_Bloat_GDV.mp3
Category:Season 06 -- posted at: 5:15pm EDT