Demand Wildlife Services agency from brutally killing more than 100,000 wild animals every year

  • by: Stephanie Carp
  • recipient: Ask USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack to follow through on his department’s plan

It's time to stop the Wildlife Services agency from brutally killing more than 100,000 wild animals every year with our tax dollars and in our names. Ask extermination program -- and end its deadly assault on wildlife for good.

Many ranchers are rejecting the old practice of killing large carnivores to protect livestock. Instead, they are increasingly using new technology and old methods of animal husbandry to coexist with carnivores.

Native carnivores bring balance to the landscape and keep ecosystems healthy. But they can also be seen as a threat to livestock, and for decades government trappers have killed them in large numbers. The U.S.D.A.'s Wildlife Services program kills tens of thousands of native carnivores annually, often at the demand of the ranching industry. It is a battle against nature that is costly, brutal, and not very effective. Does the battle really need to be fought? 

The. more than 4 million animals shot, poisoned, snared or trapped by the Department of Agriculture’s Wildlife Services in fiscal year 2013 included 75,326 coyotes, 866 bobcats, 528 river otters, 3,700 foxes, 12,186 prairie dogs, 973 red-tailed hawks, 419 black bears and at least three eagles, golden and bald


  • Bring more transparency. Wildlife Services’ practices and spending should be more transparent, in line with other federal programs, so the public can assess how taxpayer dollars and natural resources are being used

  • Embrace science. A more scientific and rational approach to predator control will balance environmental health and human safety against the demands of a few narrow interests

  • Reassess the program’s environmental impact.This predator control work operates under a Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (PEIS) finalized in 1994. Wildlife Services should revise this outdated PEIS, fully evaluating the environmental effects of predator control based on the latest and best available scienc

  • End the worst of the worst killing methods. Wildlife Services can and should immediately end one of the cruelest, most hazardous and environmentally harmful killing methods—the use of two deadly predator poisons, Compound 1080 and sodium cyanide M-44 devices.

  • Require the use of nonlethal prevention methods.Wildlife Services, and the private parties it assists, should be required to use or attempt to use a range of nonlethal deterrence methods before agreeing to cooperate in the lethal control of predators.

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