(Un)Happy Anniversary

Today marks the 80th anniversary of the Animal Damage Control Act, which codified the federal government’s authority to eradicate wildlife for the benefit of the livestock industry.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture now implements the Act through the deceptively named Wildlife Services agency, and their purported mission is “to improve the coexistence of people and wildlife.” But Wildlife Services really spends much of their time killing unwanted animals that pose a threat to sheep and cattle.

In 2009, Wildlife Services killed more than 100,000 mammalian carnivores, including foxes, mountain lions, bobcats, coyotes and wolves. These native animals were shot from airplanes and helicopters, poisoned in their dens, snared in traps and euthanized.

These drastic measures are not only costly, they’re generally ineffective in reducing losses and promoting long-term “coexistence.” Meanwhile, there are extremely effective nonlethal tools at their disposal that never see the light of day.

Each year Wildlife Services receives tens of millions of our taxpayer dollars for the purpose of “livestock protection.” More often than not, this money is only paying to kill our native carnivores. And many of the animals are killed “preventatively” in the fall and winter, before they’ve preyed on any livestock. To make matters worse, much of the killing is done on federal lands, not private property.

It’s time to hold Wildlife Services accountable. The unchecked killing of America’s native wildlife has gone on long enough. After eight decades of running amok, Wildlife Services needs to finally shape up or ship out.

If Congress is serious about fiscal discipline, revamping this draconian program would be a great place to start.

5 Responses to “(Un)Happy Anniversary”

  1. Glenda Villalobos

    How can donating money to save our wonderful Polar Bears, help to save them? If the ice they hunt from is melting, money can’t stop global warming, at least not in time for them. Defenders of wildlife continues to request donations from members, for Polar Bears, how is this money being spent? How can it help to turn around their bleak,future. I can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel for our Polar bears.

    • Elizabeth Kricfalusi

      Thanks for the question, Glenda.

      Donations from caring people like you help us to advocate in Washington for curbs on carbon emissions that fuel climate change that is melting sea ice and for legislation to help polar bears adapt to their warming climate. Such contributions also allow us to defend polar bear protections in court and to fight against harmful oil and gas drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and the Chukchi and Beaufort Seas – vital habitat for polar bears.

      Thank you for your support!

  2. Glenda Villalobos

    My heart breaks, for all of the helpless animals of this planet. “Bless the beasts and the children, for in this world they have no voice,they have no choice” We must be their voice. I am so broken about our wolves, especially the gray wolf and the mexican wolves, they are now so few in number. I am not a woman of financial means but when I can, I will give what I can. I only wish that cattlemen would incorporate wolf calls that keep intruding wolves away from their cattle. NO, THEY DON’T WANT TO BE OUT FOR THE COST OF THE EQUIPMENT TO PLAY THE RECORDED WOLF CALLS TO KEEP THEM AWAY. THEY WOULD RATHER OPEN FIRE ON THEM. WHO’S ENCROACHING ON THE LAND HERE? THEY ARE AND ARE PUSHING WOLVES OUT OF THEIR NATURAL HABITAT! What can we do to change the minds of those who seem to have no soul????

  3. suzi

    stop killing wolfs there part of our EEko systerm.There needed in this world, stop cutting all the forest’s down then they wont come in to towns looking for food. remember. WE BUILD OUR TOWNS AND CITYS IN THERE WORLD. NOT THEY OTHER WAY ROUND….

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