Federal wildlife agents killed 1.6 million animals in ’06. By Matthew Brown. Associated Press.

The federal agency Wildlife Services “serviced” 1.6 million animals last year. Numerically most of them were birds, but a lot of them were animals that many, perhaps most Americans, would rather not see killed to fatten the bottom line for ranchers and aggies.

This agency needs to be abolished and an Invasive Species Control Department created to deal with the plants and animals that really are a threat.

 
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About The Author

Ralph Maughan

Dr. Ralph Maughan is professor emeritus of political science at Idaho State University with specialties in natural resource politics, public opinion, interest groups, political parties, voting and elections. Aside from academic publications, he is author or co-author of three hiking/backpacking guides, and he is President of the Western Watersheds Project.

8 Responses to Wildlife Services, the misnamed federal agency killed 1.6 million animals in 2006

  1. avatar Mack P. Bray says:

    Wildlife Services is yet another example of “government gone berserk.”

    “More than 87,000 coyotes were killed by the federal government nationwide in 2006, the most since 2001. And 278 wolves were killed…”

    “…the agency’s shooting, trapping and poisoning operations involve nonnative, or “invasive,” species such as European starlings, a bird that is attracted to feed lots where they defecate in cattle feed.”

    So what’s wrong with starlings crapping in cattle feed? Chicken shit has been fed to cows:

    http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/local/170157_madcow22.html

    From the article: “Sundlof (the director of the FDA’s Center for Veterinary Medicine) said adding chicken litter to cattle feed is one of the primary methods of waste disposal for the chicken growers, especially in the Southeast.

    “From an environmental standpoint, what are people going to do with the poultry litter?” he asked. “One of the benefits of doing this was that it was an environmentally sound way of recycling the material.”

    “Beef fed chicken shit. It’s what’s for dinner.”

    Jim Magagna, vice president of the Wyoming Stock Growers Association, said he supported Wildlife Services and suggested that eliminating the agency could drive some livestock producers out of business.

    Sounds good to me…!

    “From almost any perspective, it helps to have an organization out there, professional people, doing the predator-control work rather than having a free-for-all,” he said.

    Wildlife Services definitely is NOT a free-for-all. It’s a free-for-livestock producers, paid for by the U.S. taxpayer.

    Besides, having Wildlife Services around spares Magagna from having to spend time on the ground, giving him more time to devote to his duties as VP.

  2. avatar jimbob says:

    Good points, Mack. The thing that amazes me is the point that Ralph makes about invasive species. Imagine eliminating predator management as a concern and using government resources to eliminate invasive species, most of which are plants. Wouldn’t that provide more feed for everything, including livestock? Why would anybody be against that? Oh yeah…the prehistoric “rancher vs. predator” argument would be gone, and there would need to be a new political hot-button issue to keep ag interests afloat. Can’t have EVERYBODY on the same team!

  3. avatar Barb says:

    The only “invasive species” are the cattle, who are and have been displacing our native predators for far too long!

    We want habitat secured for our predators — not livestock.

    Leaving livestock unattended in open pastures and fields is like WalMart leaving their doors open all night with no employees inside then shooting all the people who try to come in and steal their merchandise.

    There is NO difference.

  4. avatar Barb says:

    Does Wildlife Services do ANYTHING that’s good?

  5. avatar Jay says:

    They kill starlings.

  6. avatar Catbestland says:

    They’re real good at posing for trophy pictures of the animals they’ve just slaughtered.

  7. avatar barbprotectswildlife says:

    Yuck — that brings to mind those crazy rednecks chasing wolves from airplanes and smiling and posing with the poor beautiful, and dead bloody wolf! Disgusting. If I had my way, they’d go to jail for 20 years.

  8. avatar Ryan says:

    Starlings and cowbirds are a plague on native birds.. Good on them for killing them. I wish they’d get on the ball and start killing wild horses and burros, they absolutely play hell on the desert ecosystem.

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‎"At some point we must draw a line across the ground of our home and our being, drive a spear into the land and say to the bulldozers, earthmovers, government and corporations, “thus far and no further.” If we do not, we shall later feel, instead of pride, the regret of Thoreau, that good but overly-bookish man, who wrote, near the end of his life, “If I repent of anything it is likely to be my good behaviour."

~ Edward Abbey

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