This blog entry is about how wildlife control operators WCOs should be lobbying government.
Lobbying government? Yes, I am arguing that WCOs should be spending at least a portion of their time lobbying state representatives and agency personnel. The fact is
animal rights protest industry activists are constantly lobbying government officials to ban this method or restrict that tool. Year after year, they are writing letters, attending wildlife board meetings and lobbying state officials in an attempt to “protect animals”. In the meantime, WCOs are out doing their work ignoring the effects of animal activists working behind the scenes trying to get their agenda made into policy and/or law. It seems to me that WCOs only act when something has entered committee or when signatures are being collected for a ballot campaign. While I certainly commend that needed effort, it is short sighted.
Think Long Term
WCOs need to stop playing defense. We need to get into the politics game and begin flexing our political muscle if for nothing more than to make the animal rights protest industry waste effort fighting us. Animal activists have been fighting for decades because they know it takes time to make policy changes. WCOs need to stop thinking short term and think long term. What do you want your industry to look like in 40 years? Can you plan that far ahead? The antis do.
What actions should WCOs take when lobbying government?
- Join a national association. Numbers matter when an association lobbies on your behalf.
- Join or create a state association. National organizations can’t do everything. Politics is local you need to get in the local fight.
- Watch your language. Do not use terms that reinforce the ideology of the animal rights movement.
- Educate your clients. Be sure your brochures explain to your clients why the tools you use are needed to help keep costs down and protect your client’s property and well being.
- Lobby government.
- Invite your game warden to ride along with you.
- Tell your state representative what you do for work and why it’s important. Better yet, visit him/her.
- Tell your associations to spend more time lobbying. WCO associations do great on training but need to put more resources on lobbying.