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Defender Radio: The Podcast for Wildlife Advocates and Animal Lovers

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Helping you to stay informed, and stay strong Defender Radio is the world's top wildlife protection podcast. It is hosted by award-winning journalist Michael Howie and presented by The Fur-Bearers (

Helping you to stay informed, and stay strong Defender Radio is the world's top wildlife protection podcast. It is hosted by award-winning journalist Michael Howie and presented by The Fur-Bearers (
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Hamilton, ON




Helping you to stay informed, and stay strong Defender Radio is the world's top wildlife protection podcast. It is hosted by award-winning journalist Michael Howie and presented by The Fur-Bearers (






Adam Winston’s Podcast Explores Dogs In Our World (515)

In our world, there are many types of dogs, each unique and wonderful. And in a 12-episode podcast series, Adam Winston has explored makes our relationships with them so incredible. Adam has combined his passions for learning, his love of dogs, and his experience as an Air Force Radio and Television Producer to create this journey of discovery called Dogs In Our World. Each episode features a produced interview with an expert, including a philosopher, a historian, multiple trainers and...


Cautiously Optimistic: Alberta Ready To Allow Rehab For Bears (514)

The story of Russell, the orphaned and injured bear cub outside of Calgary, broke hearts around the world. Wildlife rehabilitators and veterinarians were ready, willing, and able to assist by examining his injured leg, and providing a safe environment for his rehabilitation over winter, but Alberta Environment and Parks refused. While the story of Russell is sad, and his fate following hibernation remains unknown, it highlighted a greater problem: several indigenous species that the...


This Common Sense Policy Update Can Help Keep Dogs Safe From Traps (513)

Host Michael Howie discusses The Fur-Bearers' push for trap warning signs in provinces and territories across Canada, how it can help protect dogs, cats, other domestic animals, and children, and how easy it is for you to take action with our one-click advocacy letter!


Killing Wolves To Curb Depredation Could Create Conflict (512)

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...


Cat Declawing is Amputation and Dr. Margie Scherk Wants it Stopped (511)

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...


IFAW Partners With Communities For Their Northern Dogs Project (510)

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...


Joshua Katcher Is Telling The Story Of Fashion Animals (509)

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...


Introducing The New Legal Podcast From Animal Justice: Paw & Order (508)

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...


The New Year's Rant: How Do You Grow Hope? (Ep. 507)

The next regular episode of Defender Radio: The Podcast for Wildlife Advocates and Animal Lovers will be available January 8, 2018, featuring Animal Justice and their new podcast Paw and Order. In this short episode, Host Michael Howie explores the question of how to grow hope in the world after a difficult year, and his promises to the animals for 2018.


Christmas In A Cozy Cave: The Defender Radio Family Christmas Special

This is the Defender Radio Family Christmas Special! Christmas In A Cozy Cave is a heart-warming Christmas tale of two very different animals who were the best of friends, as they try to give each other holiday gifts to show how much they appreciate each other. But in their efforts, they may jeopardize Christmas for one another! An audio drama written by Michael Howie and Megan Howie. Adapted from O. Henry's Gift of the Magi. Narrated by Barbara Howie Chipmunk played by Tracy...


Defender Radio Family Christmas Special (Thanks and acknowledgements)

We just released the Defender Radio Family Christmas Special, and decided to do this brief episode separately to not interfere with your enjoyment of the special. I’m going to tell you a bit about why I made the special, and thank and acknowledge those who supported and helped out. If you haven’t listened to Christmas In a Cozy Cave, go do that first, and then come back to listen to this special feature.


John E. Marriott talks Tall Tales, Long Lenses (505)

John Marriott is a wonderful wildlife photographer. I’ve had the good fortune to chat with him in the past about his work, particularly on the subjects of ethics and advocacy. When I saw the news that he’d released a new book, I immediately tweeted him, asking for a review copy and an interview. Then I emailed him. I think I called him at 3 am once or twice, too. Long story short, I loved the book, wrote a review of Tall Tales, Long Lenses: My Adventures in Photography, for The...


Advocating For Russell The Orphaned Black Bear Cub of Bragg Creek, Alberta (504)

In October I received a slew of emails about an injured bear cub in a community outside of Calgary, Alberta. Ordinarily, I’d just do a quick google search and provide the concerned animal lover with contact information for their closest wildlife rehabber. But that didn’t work in the case – because Alberta doesn’t allow for the rehabilitation of orphaned bear cubs. Unlike neighboring British Columbia, and here in Ontario, Alberta has strict policies that will not allow several species of...


Canadian Researchers Used 4 Million Animals In The Name Of Science (503)

More than four million animals were used in research in Canada in 2016, a 21% increase from the previous year. Included in this increase were the use of cats, up 68%, dogs, up 58%, nonhuman primates, up 53%, and pigs, up 70%. It isn’t just that so many animals are used though. It’s that so many animals are used for research purposes that aren’t necessarily effective, when more effective and humane options exist. Dr. Elisabeth Ormandy, Executive Director of the Animal in Science Policy...


Inside The Absurdly Intellectual, Accurately Anthropomorphised World of Joshua Barkman's False Knees (502)

Joshua Barkman, creator of the False Knees web comic, takes every day circumstances for the animals we see around us in urban areas, like raccoons, rabbits, and various species of birds, and applies absurdly humourous conversations or thoughts. Joshua gives great detail to his drawings, creating a wonderful juxtaposition between beautiful artwork and absurd humour. But he also gives life, emotion, character, and introspection to animals often seen, but seldom considered in our daily...


501: Communities Can Co-Exist With Coyotes

Here we are – season five! I can’t think of a better way to kick off this momentous run than with coyote expert, and my good friend, Lesley Sampson of Coyote Watch Canada. Lesley and I spent some time recording in a forest in the Niagara Falls region last week, talking about building community buy-in to co-existence programs, the ups and downs of developing a plan, and why living with coyotes isn’t just possible, but preferable. That’s not all I have to share with you though – I have a...


452: Elizabeth May Says We Have The Power To Go Green

Going green is a good idea.There aren't many people who don't want to see a more sustainable world that lessens our impact on the planet, habitats, ecosystems, and individual animals, regardless of political affiliations. But how to get there – and what will or won’t work – remains controversial. Curbing greenhouse gas emissions elicits a highly politicized conversation, with sides across the political spectrum using misinformation and disinformation to push for their own plans – and...


451: Getting Warm With Wully

This story started with necessity too – Canadian Football player James Yurichuk was moving his family from tepid Vancouver to brisk Toronto, and wanted to buy his wife a nice winter coat to help with the transition. But there was a problem: they were all filled with goose down and lined with coyote fur. From that simple necessity grew conversations with childhood friend Anthony DeBartolo, ideas and sketches, and a vision for an ethical, compassionate company. Fast forward a few years, and...


450: Stop Poisoning The Wolves

Poisons that cause extreme suffering and death are being used to cruelly kill wolves. But there’s an opportunity to get at least one of them out of our country. Strychnine, Compound 1080, and M-44 cyanide devices are all used in Alberta to kill wolves – and anything else that comes into contact with them. Some of these poisons are also used in Saskatchewan and Manitoba. Several permits that allow the use of Strychnine in Alberta are set to expire in December 2017, creating a unique...


449: Inside The Grizzly Poll

. It was a day of mixed emotions when we heard that the new NDP-led government in British Columbia would ban trophy hunting of grizzly bears – but still allow them to be killed for the quote meat. This pack out provision led to a big debate in the media, in comments, and on chatrooms across the province and country. It stood to reason that a good way to find out what people really thought about the hunting of grizzly bears was to ask them. Enter Insights West. Funded by LUSH Cosmetics...


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