27 April, 2018
By Heather Callaghan, Editor
Wildlife Services Killed More Than 1.3 Million Native Animals Including Wolves, Bears, Wildcats, Birds and Domestic Animals – But Why?
We are sad to report that the government has committed wholesale slaughter of native wildlife. Not just because some of them were pests, either.
It appears that the Wildlife Services has “cleared the way” for Big Ag and mowed down a startling amount of wildlife in some painfully, gruesome ways.
Wildlife Services is an arm of the USDA, and new data released by the agency last week reveals some startling practices.
Center for Biological Diversity reports:
The multimillion-dollar federal wildlife-killing program targets wolves, coyotes, cougars, birds and other wild animals for destruction—primarily to benefit the agriculture industry. Of the 2.3 million animals killed in total last year, more than 1.3 million were native wildlife species.
“The Department of Agriculture needs to get out of the wildlife-slaughter business,” said Collette Adkins, a biologist and attorney at the Center for Biological Diversity. “There’s just no scientific basis for continuing to shoot, poison and strangle more than a million animals every year. Even pets and endangered species are being killed by mistake, as collateral damage.”
According to the latest report, the federal program last year killed 357 gray wolves; 69,041 adult coyotes, plus an unknown number of coyote pups in 393 destroyed dens; 624,845 red-winged blackbirds; 552 black bears; 319 mountain lions; 1,001 bobcats; 675 river otters, including 587 killed “unintentionally”; 3,827 foxes, plus an unknown number of fox pups in 128 dens; and 23,646 beavers.
The program also killed 15,933 prairie dogs outright, as well as an unknown number killed in more than 38,452 burrows that were destroyed or fumigated. These figures almost certainly underestimate the actual number of animals killed, as program insiders have revealed that Wildlife Services kills many more animals than it reports.
In addition, the program unintentionally killed 3,000 animals including:
The following non-target birds were killed, according to the new data:
Dozens of domestic animals, pets and livestock were killed as a result of traps.
Wildlife Services’ “indiscriminate” killing happened through the use of “painful leghold traps, strangulation snares, poisons and other methods used by federal agents.”
The barbaric, outdated tactics Wildlife Services uses to destroy America’s animals need to end. Wolves, bears and other carnivores help balance the web of life where they live. Our government needs to end its pointless cycle of violence.
Center for Biological Diversity concludes that the wildlife-killing program led to the decline of “gray wolves, Mexican wolves, black-footed ferrets, black-tailed prairie dogs and other imperiled species during the first half of the 1900s,” and is obviously contributing to the problem today.
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