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Sarah Palin strikes back against Defenders of Wildlife Action Fund's Ashley Judd video

February 5, 2009 | 10:12 am

 Alaska Governor Sarah Palin answers questions from the media last December Those who watched the video released by the group Defenders of Wildlife, narrated by actress Ashley Judd -- which accuses Sarah Palin of "senseless savagery" in her support of Alaska's aerial wolf-killing program -- will hardly be surprised that the Alaska governor has struck back against the animal activists. 

In a statement posted on her website, Palin calls the group's actions "reprehensible and hypocritical" and accuses them of using the controversy as "a fundraising tool to deceive Americans into parting with their hard-earned money."  The statement reads further:

"The ad campaign by this extreme fringe group, as Alaskans have witnessed over the last several years, distorts the facts about Alaska's wildlife management programs. Alaskans depend on wildlife for food and cultural practices which can't be sustained when predators are allowed to decimate moose and caribou populations. Our predator control programs are scientific and successful at protecting vulnerable wildlife. These audacious fundraising attempts misrepresent what goes on in Alaska, and I encourage people to learn the facts about Alaska's positive record of managing wildlife for abundance.

"Shame on the Defenders of Wildlife for twisting the truth in an effort to raise funds from innocent and hard-pressed Americans struggling with these rough economic times."

Regarding Palin's statement, Reuters' environment blog notes:

What is perhaps most revealing about the statement is that Palin ... did not address one of the group's key allegations: that she plans to introduce legislation shortly that would expand the aerial predator hunting program.

What do you think?  Is Palin relying on a red herring by bringing up the issue of America's "rough economic times" in her rebuttal, or is she right that Defenders of Wildlife and Judd are out of line in their accusations?  Do you you think the aerial wolf-killing program is an appropriate way to address concerns about moose and caribou in Alaska?

--Lindsay Barnett

Photo: William Thomas Cain / Getty Images

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