Wildlife Services has done away with easily accessible national tolls of the all the wildlife it kills for the livestock industry and others.  Now, you have to tally up the state tabs and do the math yourself yourself – carnivore “controls” keeps trending upward :

Agency makes it tough to keep tabs on animal killsAP

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Brian Ertz

4 Responses to Agency makes it tough to keep tabs on animal kills

  1. avatar Jon Way says:

    Don’t we live in a democracy? After all, this is federally (publicly) funded.

  2. avatar Barb says:

    It’s “run” by the livestock industry. That’s why it was even created in the first place. That’s the problem — they first want to protect ag and livestock — not wildlife!

  3. avatar JB says:

    Barb, it would be more appropriate to say that some part of Wildlife Services is run “for” the benefit of agriculture. This is no secret; in fact, it’s the second objective listed on their home page (see: http://www.aphis.usda.gov/wildlife_damage/).

    I’d like to make sure that the issue with WS is not oversimplified. WS does a lot more than kill predators for the protection of livestock, though this is the “arm” of the agency that Westerners are most familiar with. They also run the National Wildlife Research Center out of Colorado where researchers study a host of different topics including wildlife disease, zoonotic diseases, and non-lethal control methods.

    If you want to vent your anger about WS to your Congressperson (and by all means please do), be sure to specify what it is that WS does that offends you (i.e. using federal money to subsidize ranching in the arid/semi-arid West via the slaughter of predators) and tell them that you would like to see those monies appropriated for other efforts like disease prevention, the management of overabundant species such as white tailed deer, etc.

    In short, you’re more likely to be taken seriously if you present an informed opinion and provide an alternative that is politically viable. Wildlife services, I would argue, can and should survive: however, their methods need a drastic realignment.

  4. avatar Barb says:

    JB,

    Yes, actually I am aware of everything you said and have written to W.S. asking that the funds not be used for “lethal” control…..

    What I mean by they are “run” by the livestock industry… the livestock industry lobbyists have a huge say in how “Wildlife Services” conducts itself — i.e., lethal “control” vs. other control.

    I don’t think our tax money should pay for ANY type of “control” for private businesses.

    Moving birds and animals off airports is different than using our tax money to HELP private livestock owners.

    That isn’t how our tax money should be used.

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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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