The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has proposed a rule that would ban predator control of native carnivores on the National Wildlife Refuge System. If finalized, this rule will be a huge victory for countless wildlife—like wolves, bears and cougars—living on refuges.
Refuges are home to thousands of wildlife and fish species, many of whom depend on these refuges for their survival. Banning predator control programs—which allow for the use of cruel methods like shooting animals from the air, trapping and snaring, or chasing wildlife with radio-collared hounds—will save these species from senseless slaughter and provide them with the protections they deserve and need to survive.
This is a huge step forward in the protection of native carnivores, and it's imperative we come out in full force in support of this proposed rule to ensure it is finalized and implemented quickly. Thousands of wildlife species depend on National Wildlife Refuges to provide them with a safe habitat in which to live and raise their young. Help us make that a reality.
I support USFWS's proposed rule to prohibit predator control on the National Wildlife Refuge System
Assistant Secretary Estenoz,
I am writing in support of U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's proposed rule to prohibit predator control on the National Wildlife Refuge System and urge the agency to swiftly finalize and implement this important rule.
Refuges are home to thousands of wildlife and fish species, including many iconic and beloved native carnivores like wolves, bears, coyotes, cougars, foxes and bobcats who depend on these refuges for survival. If this proposed rule is finalized, these species would be saved from senseless slaughter and would have the protections they deserve and need to survive.
Predator "control" programs are often the cause of severe pain and cruelty for animals. Individuals, states and even the federal government conduct predator control operations ostensibly to grow deer, elk or other prey populations or to protect domestic livestock. Neither of these goals are satisfactory or supported by sound science, say a myriad of conservation biologists.
In addition, many predator control methods are plain cruelty. If animals are shot from the air, the gunners may not make a clean kill and just wound the animal leaving them to die from blood loss. Or animals caught in traps will struggle mightily to escape and cause severe damage to their bodies, including broken legs, digit amputation, or loss of teeth.
If finalized, this rule would help provide a science-based approach for managing wildlife on refuges in addition to supporting conservation and giving wildlife refuge managers better tools to address the complicated threats of climate change and biodiversity loss.
Thousands of wildlife depend on National Wildlife Refuges to provide them with safe habitat in which to live and raise their young. I urge you to finalize this rule and make this a reality for the animals who call refuges their home.