END MENDOCINO'S CONTRACT WITH WILDLIFE SERVICES
Most residents and visitors to Mendocino County have a deep love and respect for nature and for wildlife. Yet, each year our county renews its contract with the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Wildlife Services to kill hundreds of bears, bobcats, coyotes, foxes and many other wild animals, as well as unintended victims, such as endangered species and our beloved pets.
The USDA's Wildlife Services is a multimillion-dollar federal program that sets snares to kill wildlife by slow strangulation, and metal jawed Conibear traps that snap shut with crushing force on the animal's body. Both methods are indiscriminate, killing non-target species and pets alike.
In 2018 Wildlife Services reported killing nearly 1.5 million native animals nationwide. That year, in California, the program reported killing 26,441 native animals, including 3,826 coyotes, 859 beavers, 170 foxes, 83 mountain lions and 105 black bears. The 5,675 birds killed in 2018 in California included blackbirds, ducks, egrets, hawks, owls and doves. - USDA WS statistics
There is absolutely no moral reason to continue the horrific, archaic practice of implementing torture traps for wildlife management when there are non-lethal methods proven to be more effective and humane.
"Wildlife Services' indiscriminate killing of millions of animals annually has many damaging impacts on the environment. Peer-reviewed research shows that such reckless slaughter of animals — particularly predators — results in broad ecological destruction and loss of biodiversity. The program's controversial and indiscriminate killing methods are employed largely at the behest of ranchers to protect livestock and have come under increased scrutiny from scientists, the public and government officials. In addition the agency has been responsible for the countless deaths of threatened and endangered species, as well as family pets." - Camilla Fox, founder and executive director of Marin-based Project Coyote.
Counties throughout the country, including neighboring Marin and Sonoma, have ended their contracts with Wildlife Services. They have brought in non-lethal wildlife management services to educate the public regarding deterrent and exclusion programs to protect property and livestock. Such non-lethal wildlife exclusion programs have proven far more effective than senseless killing by Wildlife Services.
A bare majority of Mendocino County Supervisors want to continue our lethal contract with Wildlife Services, and use a non-lethal wildlife service as a supplement. This means the county would continue to subsidize WS to kill wildlife, while community members who did not want wildlife to be killed would pay a fee for non-lethal wildlife services.
We, of the Mendocino Non-lethal Wildlife Alliance (MNWA), believe that killing wildlife should be a last resort and only used to protect human safety, euthanize a rabid animal, or, when all other appropriate non-lethal methods of wildlife exclusion have been exhausted.
Ranchers have a legal right to kill a predator that threatens their livestock, so terminating the contract with Wildlife Services would not infringe upon their rights.
We are a progressive county that values and respects our majestic wildlife. We certainly would not be the first county in the US to end an agreement with USDA's Wildlife Services; let us not be among the last!
Please sign our petition to end the senseless killing now.
Recipient: Mendocino County Board of Supervisors.
Mendocino Non-lethal Wildlife Alliance
For more information:
Wildlife groups take aim at lethal control of predators: