The best of EcoWatch, right in your inbox. Sign up for our email newsletter!
3.2 Million Animals Killed by Wildlife Services in 2015
The total number of wolves, coyotes, bears, mountain lions, beavers, foxes, eagles and other animals killed largely at the behest of the livestock industry and other agribusinesses represents a half-million-animal increase more than the 2.7 million animals the agency killed in 2014.
Despite increasing calls for reform a century after the federal wildlife-killing program began in 1915, the latest kill report indicates that the program's reckless slaughter continues, including 385 gray wolves, 68,905 coyotes (plus an unknown number of pups in 492 destroyed dens), 480 black bears, 284 mountain lions, 731 bobcats, 492 river otters (all but 83 killed “unintentionally"), 3,437 foxes, two bald eagles and 21,559 beavers. The program also killed 20,777 prairie dogs outright, plus an unknown number killed in more than 59,000 burrows that were destroyed or fumigated.
“Despite mounting public outcry and calls from Congress to reform these barbaric, outdated tactics, Wildlife Services continues its slaughter of America's wildlife with no public oversight," Michael Robinson of the Center for Biological Diversity said.
“There's simply no scientific basis for continuing to shoot, poison and strangle millions of animals every year—a cruel practice that not only fails to effectively manage targeted wildlife but poses an ongoing threat to other animals, including pets."
Agency insiders have revealed that the agency kills many more animals than it reports.
The data show that the Department of Agriculture boosted its killing program despite a growing public outcry and calls for reform by scientists, elected officials and nongovernmental organizations.
“The Department of Agriculture should get out of the wildlife-slaughter business," Robinson said.
“Wolves, bears and other carnivores help keep the natural balance of their ecosystems. Our government kills off the predators, such as coyotes and then kills off their prey—like prairie dogs—in an absurd, pointless cycle of violence."
YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
Spaghetti with plastic sauce? That's what you might be eating if you pour one of three flavors of Ragú sauce over your pasta.
Mizkan America, the food company that owns Ragú, announced Saturday that it was voluntarily recalling some Chunky Tomato Garlic & Onion, Old World Style Traditional and Old World Style Meat sauces because they might be contaminated with plastic fragments, The Today Show reported.
by Jordan Davidson
Taking action to stop the mercury from rising is a matter of life and death in the U.S., according to a new study published in the journal Science Advances.
By Alisa Opar
For Chinook salmon, the urge to return home and spawn isn't just strong — it's imperative. And for the first time in more than 65 years, at least 23 fish that migrated as juveniles from California's San Joaquin River and into the Pacific Ocean have heeded that call and returned as adults during the annual spring run.
By Jessica Corbett
Dozens of students, parents, teachers and professionals joined a Friday protest organized by Extinction Rebellion that temporarily stalled morning rush-hour traffic in London's southeasten borough of Lewisham to push politicians to more boldly address dangerous air pollution across the city.
Jose A. Bernat Bacete / Moment / Getty Images
By Bridget Shirvell
On a farm in upstate New York, a cheese brand is turning millions of pounds of food scraps into electricity needed to power its on-site businesses. Founded by eight families, each with their own dairy farms, Craigs Creamery doesn't just produce various types of cheddar, mozzarella, Swiss and Muenster cheeses, sold in chunks, slices, shreds and snack bars; they're also committed to becoming a zero-waste operation.