Animal Welfare Institute Urges Nationwide Action on We the People Petition to Save Bats!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Washington, D.C. -- Over one million dead animals. A disease that is affecting 9 species in 19 states. Nearly 100 percent mortality at some sites.

Time is running out for the bats - and for us to get this issue in front of the President! If you haven’t already signed this petition, please do so RIGHT AWAY and forward it to everyone you know - we have only until November 25 to collect 22,000 more signatures!

White-nose Syndrome (WNS) is decimating bat populations, and the Animal Welfare Institute wants everyone to step up to help stop it by signing a petition to the White House BEFORE NOVEMBER 25 to tell the President we cannot afford to ignore WNS.

White-Nose Syndrome spreads farther each year, with dire consequences for North American bats. Scientists are predicting regional extinctions of the little brown bat in the northeastern United States by 2026 because of this disease. Critical hibernation sites of endangered Indiana, gray, and Virginia big-eared bats are at risk. Twenty-five of the United States’ 47 bats species hibernate in caves and mines and could be affected by WNS.

WNS-related bat losses will affect us all. By eating insects that damage crops and carry disease, bats provide an invaluable service. Losing bats would cost U.S. farmers at least $3.7 billion in lost crops and increased pesticide use, increasing the financial strain on farming families, raising the price of food for consumers, and releasing more chemicals into our environment. In addition, regulations stemming from adding more bats to the Endangered Species List would impact such industries as mining, defense, energy, forestry, infrastructure, tourism and outdoor recreation.

The Animal Welfare Institute asks President Obama to include WNS funding in his Fiscal Year 2013 budget. Given the current economic and political climate, however, we know that he needs to hear how concerned all Americans are about WNS and the survival of our country’s bats. So we are using the White House’s new “We the People” petition tool to make our request. White House staff will review our request if we obtain 25,000 signatures by November 25!

AWI urges everyone who cares about bats, and cares about not losing the valuable services they provide to our economy and the environment, to act now!

If you already have a whitehouse.gov account, click "Sign In" enter your information and then click "Sign this Petition." If you are new to the whitehouse.gov webpage, click "Create an Account." After you have filled in the form, you will be sent an automated email to verify your new account and then you can return and click "Sign this Petition." When you sign up for an account, you can select whether or not you want to receive emails from the Administration.

The November 25 deadline is just around the corner! Spread the word by asking your friends and family to sign on, too.

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Media Contact:
Nancy Blaney, (202) 446-2141, nancy@awionline.org