Target: Sue Ostrom, Sonoma County Agriculture Commissioner
Goal: Stop relying on needlessly cruel local animal control
In recent years, California has made great strides in reducing cruelty against wildlife while still allowing farmers and ranchers to protect their property. Methods like cyanide and leg-hold traps have been phased out in favor of more humane animal control. Unfortunately, not all counties have adopted cruelty-free strategies for controlling wildlife. Sonoma County still maintains a predator control contract with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Wildlife Services, which regularly uses cruel cage, steel-jaw, and Conibear traps. Urge Sonoma County to opt for humane wildlife maintenance.
Wildlife Services kills hundreds of large predators every year in Sonoma County alone. The ruthless methods of unchecked “Wildlife Specialists” have led to the deaths of thousands of non-targeted animals. Many of these predators take days to die inside extremely painful traps. These cruel traps don’t only harm wildlife; hikers and pets have fallen victim to them, even in suburban areas.
In some cases, Wildlife Services agents exhibit deliberate cruelty. Wildlife Specialist Jamie P. Olson recently published pictures of his hunting dogs attacking a coyote held helpless inside a leg-hold trap, while Russell Files was recently arrested for capturing his neighbor’s dog inside multiple traps. This agency clearly cannot be trusted to humanely service areas like Sonoma County, which are rich with wildlife.
Nearby counties have turned to other independent services that use cruelty-free methods of predator control with impressive results. Neighboring counties that use non-lethal programs have seen predation-losses decrease by over 60% on some ranches. Sonoma County must take a stand for the wellbeing of its wildlife. Urge the County to cut ties with Wildlife Services and employ humane methods of predator control.
Dear Sue Ostrom,
Over the past decade, thousands of animals have suffered needless deaths at the hands of Wildlife Services. Employees employ cruel methods of trapping animals like cages and leg-hold traps. Yet Sonoma County still relies on this government entity to control wildlife.
Recently, Wildlife Services has displayed the stunning incompetence of its officers, who have been arrested for deliberately trapping pets and torturing wild animals. The agency has no interest in developing humane, non-lethal methods of controlling predators. It’s content to treat animals as if they aren’t sentient beings capable of feeling pain and distress.
Neighboring counties, like Marin, have seen a 60% decrease in predation loss on some ranches after they switched to non-lethal methods of animal control. You don’t need cruelty to protect the property of your residents. I urge you to look for alternatives to Wildlife Services.
[Your Name Here]