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Author Topic: Defending Wildlife  (Read 7714 times)

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Re: Defending Wildlife
« Reply #30 on: June 13, 2016, 09:17:38 pm »
The "We are very responsible, good and caring for wildlife" BULLSHIT from Kevin Shea, USDA Administrator, in a letter to Senator Sanders:

THE TRUTH, as stated clearly since 2013:


Congress: Kill Wildlife Services’ Wildlife-Killing Budget

By Ralph Maughan On August 9, 2013

This is a guest editorial by Wendy Keefover, Director of the Carnivore Protection Program at WildEarth Guardians-

The New York Times editors largely got it right when they recently editorialized critically about the cruel work of a little known program within the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) that annually spends over $100 million to kill some four million animals each year.  But we believe the Times should have gone further with their recommendation:  abolish Wildlife Services altogether because it represents a huge waste of taxpayer funds, it harms wildlife communities and ecosystems, and uses indiscriminate, brutal methods to kill millions of wildlife and domestic animals each year.

Not surprisingly Kevin Shea, one of the USDA’s top administrators for the government’s war on wildlife reacted defensively and claimed the Times editors “misunderstood” the federal government’s animal-killing “program.” He argues that unless one lives in “Rural [sic] America or work(s) in agriculture” one just cannot comprehend the need for the feds to kill “wolves, coyotes, bears that prey on livestock, as well as birds that can devour a field of sunflowers or a pen of farm-raised catfish in a morning.”

But Shea’s notion of rural exceptionalism is fundamentally about the bottom line of agribusiness and is a complete dismissal of the growing support for non-lethal coexistence.

His arguments are out-of-step with Americans’ conservation values. In fact some rural producers readily use non-lethal methods to deter wildlife and prevent losses to their agricultural products. A few ranchers ride with their herds that graze on open range, or use barns or pens to protect lambing or calving mothers. Some farmers use scarecrows and electronic devices to scare off flocks of birds that might eat sunflower seeds or rice.

Shea conveniently omitted facts about the enormous problems associated with this federal animal-killing program. Each year, Wildlife Services kills millions of animals, including animals that are federally listed as “endangered” or “threatened” with extinction under the Endangered Species Act. It also kills hundreds of common species each year from meadowlarks, to beavers, to American kestrels. Wildlife Services slays hundreds of domestic pets, and occasionally and ironically the very cattle, sheep, or deer they are working to protect.

While Shea claims that: “we target just those animals causing the damage.” Nothing could be further from the truth. Wildlife Services uses a veritable arsenal that includes a variety of indiscriminate deadly poisons; cable neck snares; dynamite, steel-jawed, and leg-hold traps. None of these things target the individual animals that have caused agricultural damage. And neither can the federal snipers who shoot wolves, bears, coyotes, and ravens from helicopters and airplanes. They just shoot the animals they see.

Shea also forgot to mention the brutality that characterizes some Wildlife Services employees. Recently, one federal trapper was criticized for apparently siccing his dogs on trapped coyotes. The trapper then apparently took photos and posted them to his Facebook page.

In another recent incident, a government trapper, who was working for his wife with his supervisor’s approval, set up leg-hold traps in his own yard. He captured his neighbor’s dog who was left in traps for hours. The dog sustained permanent damage to her body. The trapper has been charged in Arizona for felony animal abuse and recently left his employment.

Wildlife Services wastes enormous resources in its bid to kill America’s most majestic native carnivores such as wolves, coyotes, bears, and cougars. What makes no sense is that only a miniscule number of livestock actually die from predation – less than a quarter of one percent of the cattle inventory according to USDA figures. Most cattle and sheep succumb to illness, disease, and birthing problems, according to the USDA’s own data, killing wolves and other native species creates enormous ecosystem problems, and disrupts the social structures in these animal communities.

Finally, Mr. Shea failed to tell his readers that tax dollars largely pay for all this killing. Wildlife Services receives funds from taxpayers at every level of government – from municipalities, to states, and from the federal treasury as well.

Worse, Wildlife Services operates under a veil of secrecy, often failing to account for its actions. Wildlife Services is notorious for its failures to respond to Freedom of Information Act requests. It won’t tell the public how much it spends on what it does, although a peek at some of its record keeping from its databases indicates a culture of precise record keeping. Wildlife Services has even evaded requests from Congress for its budget records.

Wildlife Services has been around in various guises since the late 19th Century with its primary mission to exterminate our nation’s wildlife so as to benefit those in agribusiness. Times have changed. Sadly Wildlife Service has not.  It’s time for Wildlife Services to go. It’s out of step with Americans’ values toward wildlife and wildlands conservation.

With ingenuity and persistence, producers can choose to co-exist with wildlife rather than killing
– because the amount of killing is expensive, harmful, misguided, and wholly unnecessary. In an era of economic uncertainty, it’s time to kill Wildlife Services’ budget so as to spare our nation’s wildlife and pets.

Rob not the poor, because he is poor: neither oppress the afflicted in the gate:
For the Lord will plead their cause, and spoil the soul of those that spoiled them. Pr. 22:22-23


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