Wildlife management in the U.S. has increasingly centered on eradicating critters deemed troublesome. At the apex of this mortality industrial complex is the ironically named Wildlife Services. It is an arm of USDA’s Animal & Plant Health Inspection Service, where Wildlife Services dispenses “Animal Health” in the same way Genghis Khan spread “Villager Health.”
In 2016, Wildlife Services dispatched 2.7 million birds, bobcats, beavers, coyotes and other wildlife. That jaw-dropping number is not even a record – it killed 5 million in 2008.
Wildlife Services acts with almost no environmental oversight, functioning as a backdoor subsidy to agriculture and aquiculture industries to kill any wildlife labeled a nuisance. It also poses a danger to its own staff, where aerial gunning accidents are virtually an annual occurrence. Moreover, its reliance on powerful poisons presents a public health risk that persists even into our current era of Homeland Security.
Distressingly, Wildlife Service’s reach is growing. It appears to be influencing Interior’s Fish & Wildlife Service (FWS) to increasingly employ mass wildlife eradication in the name of conservation.
PEER has been contacted for help by horrified scientists and even FWS retirees distressed that this agency chartered to protect wildlife now routinely eschews effective non-lethal strategies to embrace slaughter under the guise of wildlife management. Help us wrest conservation from the hands of the exterminators.