Defender Radio and The Switch

Defender Radio and The Switch

Defender Radio and The Switch bring experts and solutions to wildlife advocates and animal lovers around the world. Hosted by award-winning journalist Michael Howie, Defender Radio and The Switch are produced by The Fur-Bearers (TheFurBearers.com) and released weekly. Learn more at DefenderRadio.com

Episodes

September 9, 2022 16 min

Two fur farms in Quebec are at the centre of a complaint filed by Animal Justice after they received images from We Animals Media. The photos, captured in August 2022, show deplorable conditions for mink and foxes. The Montreal SPCA has initiated a call for a ban on fur farming in Quebec and are setting up inherently inhumane fur farms as an election issue in the province.

Camille Labchuk, executive director of animal law non-profi...

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Second generation anticoagulant rodenticides (SGARs) are being banned in jurisdictions around the world due to the harm they cause ecosystems and individual animals. Fortunately, rodent proofing your home or business is a humane solution that's also great for the environment! Erin Ryan, a wild animal welfare specialist for the BC SPCA shares simple ways you can make the switch to a rodent proofed home!

Shownotes and links:

Lear...

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Farmed animal sanctuaries are a place of healing and hope. But the creation and management of a farmed animal sanctuary can be an overwhelming process with lives at stake. Sarien and Hugo Slabbert in 2019 started the charitable People Ensuring Animal Care Exists, or P.E.A.C.E., to provide vital resources in Western Canada.

P.E.A.C.E. provides rescue support, resources for sanctuaries and their volunteers, and humane education for t...

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Rewilding the world is an important step in combating climate change; recreating ecosystems and habitat can’t happen soon enough. Fortunately, a lot of solutions are already available – including the Miyawaki Method of using mini-forests to reforest the world.

Mini-Forest Revolution: Using the Miyawaki Method to Rapidly Rewild The World was released in June 2022 by Chelsea Green Publishing. Author Hannah Lewis shares the ins and ou...

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Large wildlife such as bears and coyotes are often killed for being around human places and accessing anthropogenic food sources. But simple educational tools to let communities know how to coexist with wildlife exist - and are accessible for free by anyone in Canada. Aaron Hofman, Director of Advocacy and Policy at The Fur-Bearers, joins The Switch to talk about how bear door hangers can save lives - and how you can make a differe...

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Content/Trigger Warning: This episode discusses subjects of burnout, self-care, self-harm, suicide, and mental health.

I recently connected with Stephanie McMahon, a registered psychotherapist in Ontario, who happens to also be a wildlife rehabilitation centre volunteer, to talk about what burnout is and how it impacts individuals, what clearing space for self-care looks like, and how we can all ask for help when we need it.

This w...

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June 27, 2022 33 min

If a tool existed that would reduce negative encounters with wildlife in your municipality, would you implement it? I think most listeners would – and a toolkit is now available that can actively help residents do just that.

The Wildlife Attractant By-law Toolkit was developed by Serratus Wildlife Services for the Get Bear Smart Society. It's a comprehensive document that can help municipalities across Canada easily and afforda...

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Green lawns and pavement do little to help the ecosystem, but finding ways to incorporate essential meadows in urban centres can make a significant impact. Dr. Anna Zakrisson, a green infrastructure researcher and science communicator, joins The Switch to give a quick rundown on urban meadows, how we can reboot natural processes, and why green lawns can be ecological dead zones. 

Want to connect with Dr. Anna Zakrisson? Visit https...

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June 13, 2022 26 min

Rodents – mice, rats, squirrels and the like – are found all across Canada. At some point, pretty much every homeowner or building owner will be confronted by two little eyes and a twitchy nose, and need a solution. For a long time, rodenticides – poisons targeting rodents – have been the norm. But the issues relating to welfare of animals and secondary poisoning have prompted many jurisdictions to implement bans on second generati...

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This is a repost of a past episode. New episodes will be streaming by June 2022! The illegal wildlife trade is significantly broader and includes far more species than most people think; and Canada is seemingly playing a role.

Dr. Chris Shepherd, Executive Director of Monitor Conservation Research Society, is working hard to research and expose the illegal wildlife trade around the world. In two papers he co-published regarding bl...

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March 31, 2022 4 min

It’s the beginning of spring and the end of the eighth season of Defender Radio! As The Fur-Bearers’ fiscal year rolls over, my attentions are needed in strategic planning and communication work. For a few weeks, I’ll be sharing some of my favourite episodes from seasons past, and starting to book a massive wave of recording for season nine!

Defender Radio and the Switch are among of my proudest achievements and a great joy for me ...

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March 21, 2022 19 min

Humane Canada’s Summit for Animals is approaching, and it’s sounding like it’s going to be their best yet. The annual conference is going to include in-person events in Banff, Alberta in conjunction with a broad variety of online presentations. Formerly the National Animal Welfare Conference, the Summit for Animals is reaching well beyond Humane Canada’s foundations as the federation of humane societies and SPCAs; I’ll be speaking ...

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Nathaniel Erskine-Smith, Liberal MP for Beaches-East York, in February introduced Private Members Bill C-247, An Act to prohibit fur farming. This Act, if passed through the House of Commons and Senate, would end commercial fur farming in Canada at the federal level. MP Erskine-Smith joined Defender Radio to discuss the bill, how private members bills work, what people can do to support it, and what other ways communities can engag...

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You can save the lives of birds and keep your local ecosystem healthy by making a simple switch with the easy solutions suggested by Anouk Hoedeman of Safe Wings Ottawa.

Links:

Safe Wings Ottawa at http://safewings.ca/

Safe Wings Ottawa on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/SafeWings/

Safe Wings Ottawa on Instagram https://www.instagram.com/safewingsottawa/

Want to suggest topics for The Switch? Reach out to us at DefenderRadio@...

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December 21, 2021 20 min

The Squirrel Who Stole Solstice was written and directed by Marisa King. Starring Kristi Boulton, Marisa King and Michael Howie. Original holiday carol by Julian Sark.

The Squirrel Who Stole Solstice was written and Directed by Marisa King! Marisa voiced Nutty! Marisa King is an actor, director and long-time animal advocate based in Toronto, Ontario.  You can also hear her on the award-winning Alba Salix podcast as well as improvis...

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Gift giving is wonderful and generous, but around the holidays can generate a lot of waste. Dr. Elisabeth Ormandy (Executive Director of Society for Humane Science, TEDx speaker, UBC Professor and zero waste enthusiast) is making The Switch to zero waste gift giving! 

These tips can make a big impact on local waste during the holiday season, and we'd love to hear from you! Tag @howiemichael on Instagram or email defenderrad...

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Frances Backhouse is a well-regarded naturalist and journalist, as well as the author of several books on beavers, including Once They Were Hats. Though known for much of her work on beavers, Frances has also written about several species of bird, women in history, and now is taking on the fascinating and majestic grizzly bear.

Frances joined Defender Radio to have an in-depth conversation about her path from scientist to writer, w...

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November 29, 2021 2 min

Get details on the incredible matching gift challenge and how you can be a producer of the new trapping documentary!

Learn more about the Trapped In The Past documentary project and donate now by clicking here or going to www.DefenderRadio.com/trapped.

Check out the full episode featuring John E. Marriott and Kim Odland discussing this project and Giving Tuesday at https://thefurbearers.com/blog/defender-radio/trapped-in-the-past-...

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November 22, 2021 36 min

Giving Tuesday Challenge: For the week of Monday, November 29 to Friday, December 3, 2021, all donations to this project will be MATCHED up to $10,000 - but only if we hit the $10,000 goal! Learn more and donate now at https://www.DefenderRadio.com/Trapped.

I’m very excited to be able to share this episode with you, as it’s a bit of an official launch: we’re making a documentary! The Fur-Bearers is working renowned wildlife photog...

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Placemaking and little free libraries go hand in hand to help residents make a switch in their community. Dr. Teale Phelps Bondaroff of the Victoria Pocket Places Project joins The Switch to explain how the idea of placing making and community library boxes (which don’t replace libraries) can help communities become climate resilient and benefit everyone.

Please note we are not discussing Little Free Libraries, a non-profit organiz...

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