Wildlife “Services” Spent $100 Million Killing Animals

Monday, January 05, 2009
Government Targets?
A coalition of 110 animal rights and conservation groups including Big Wildlife, the Center for Biological Diversity, and Christians for Environmental Stewardship signed a letter (PDF) to Tom Vilsack, Barack Obama’s pick for Secretary of Agriculture, urging him to immediately cease the USDA Wildlife Services’ systematic destruction of wildlife on behalf of agribusiness and other farmers and ranchers.  The groups advise spending the money instead on educating farmers and ranchers on non-lethal ways to protect their livestock, by improving their fencing and installing precautionary measures like sirens.
 
In 2007, Wildlife Services spent $100 million to kill 2,420,270 animals, including more than 37,000 that were killed from helicopters and fixed wing aircraft. Almost half of the kills (1,176,647) were European starlings, which were first introduced into the United States in 1890 as part of one man’s program to introduce to New York City’s Central Park all birds mentioned in Shakespeare’s plays. Among the other animals killed:
 
 
 
 
90,326 coyotes
25,043 beavers
19,586 wild hogs
6.954 laughing gulls
6,671 rabbits
4,733 house finches
4.055 deer
3,244 ducks
1,133 cats
602 turtles
584 owls
526 dogs
511 black bears
361 swans
336 mountain lions
245 parakeets
237 chickens
110 minks
52 pelicans
9 frogs
1 salamander
1 wild sheep
1 moose
     and
1 flying squirrel
                                                                                                   -David Wallechinsky
 
Animals Taken by the Wildlife Services Program—FY 2007 (Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service)
Tom Vilsack (Allgov)

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