Target: U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Services’ Wildlife Services
Goal: Reform Predator Control program by using non-lethal control methods
Wildlife Services does things such as prevent bird strikes at airports and control the spread of rabies, which benefit the public interest. However, many things they do hurt the environment and waste taxpayer dollars, like spending over $100 million to kill grizzly bears and wolves.
The main purpose of the Predator Control program is to prevent livestock losses to predators such as bears, coyotes, mountain lions, and wolves. However, the USDA’s statistics show that more livestock loss comes from disease, birthing problems, and weather than from predators. Still, Wildlife Services still preventatively kills over 100,000 native predators, with unclear benefits. In fact, the killing methods Wildlife Services employs have led to both poisoned pets and people, as well as the degradation of ecosystems that rely on these predators as an integral part.
Wildlife Services uses a combination of lethal control methods, like trapping, aerial gunning, poisoning, and denning (killing young in their dens), as well as some non-lethal control methods. More non-lethal control methods should be explored instead of the mass slaughter of predators. A bill introduced into the House calls to prohibit the use of Compound 1080 and sodium cyanide for predator control. The bill was referred to committee and may not see the House floor this year. Urge Wildlife Services to reform its Predator Control program immediately.