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Every year the government poisons, traps and guns down hundreds of thousands of our nation's most majestic animals—including wolves, coyotes, grizzly bears and mountain lions—at the request of a minority of anti-wildlife special interests. We're spreading the message that we need to co-exist with, not kill, these beautiful animals. We're asking Congress to defund and increase oversight of this rogue bureaucracy.
Few taxpayers realize that we help fund a program called "Wildlife Services," a branch of the U.S. Department of Agriculture Animal Plant Health Inspection Service, that wages a dirty war on America's wildlife. Between 2004 and 2011, Wildlife Services killed over 26 million animals purportedly to “protect” agribusiness or “bolster” hunting opportunities: a contention based on unsupported myths. The program spends over $100 million each year to kill wildlife.
In fiscal year (FY) 2010, Wildlife Services admitted it killed 5 million animals, including 112,781 native carnivores such as coyotes, wolves, bobcats, cougars, badgers and bears. But its numbers are suspect. In 2010, the program also belatedly admitted to poisoning 4 million starlings, black birds and others in 2009.
In FY 2011,Wildlife Services admitted it killed fewer non-native starlings, but more native carnivores, for a total of 3.8 million reported animals. Many of the victims were unintended, including household pets such as cats and dogs. The veracity of Wildlife Services’ self-reported body count is suspect because it is politically expedient for them to under-report their total kills. One former agent stated that Wildlife Services' agents routinely avoid counting non-target kills.
In FY 2013, Wildlife Services’ admitted body count increased to over 4.3 million animals representing dozens of species, including over 2 million animals native to the U.S. The program’s annual report (which, as noted, must be taken with a grain of salt) acknowledged responsibility for the deaths of over 75,326 coyotes, 24,390 beavers, 13,048 prairie dogs, 3,706 foxes, 876 bobcats, 419 black bears, 345 cougars, 321 wolves including 1 critically imperiled Mexican gray wolf, and at least 3 domestic animals including household pets in one year alone.
WildEarth Guardians is holding Wildlife Services accountable by:
By eliminating Wildlife Services, we will give our native wildlife the freedom to roam and to shape the iconic landscapes that are our national treasures.
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