U.S. Wildlife Services Intentionally Killed 1.2 Million Native Wild Animals Last Year

October 15, 2020 at 4:48 pm

A new report reveals the dirty secret mission of the U.S. Wildlife Services. Hint: it’s not to protect wild animals.

Prairie Dog pups.

You might think with a name like “Wildlife Services,” a federal agency would be charged with protecting and conserving wild animals.

Think again. A more appropriate title for U.S. Wildlife Services – a subdivision of the U.S. Department of Agriculture – w0uld be U.S. Livestock Services.

The bureaucracy is tasked with resolving conflicts between humans and wildlife, so the two can “co-exist.”

But the agency’s means of accomplishing this goal pretty much boil down to slaughtering any wild animals farmers and ranchers deem to be a nuisance by the millions each year.

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s own reports, it has killed over 35 million native, wild animals in the last decade alone.

In 2019 alone, Wildlife Services intentionally killed:

364,734 red-winged blackbirds

61,882 adult coyotes, plus an unknown number of coyote pups in 251 destroyed dens

35,000+ prairie dogs

24,543 beavers

2,447 foxes, plus an unknown number of red fox pups in 94 dens

777 bobcats

124 river otters, plus 489 killed ‘unintentionally’

393 black bears

301 gray wolves

300 mountain lions

Unintentionally, it killed 2624 more animals including, muskrats, porcupines, raccoons, turtles, ducks, eagles, swallows, herons and turkeys.

Two days after the USDA released its annual death toll report (Oct. 9) WildEarth Guardians filed a lawsuit against the agency.

“Wildlife Services uses fixed-wing aircraft and helicopters to aerially shoot coyotes; body-gripping traps, neck snares and leg-hold traps to kill mountain lions, black bears, bobcats, badgers, coyotes, skunks, and swift and gray foxes; gas cartridges and poisons to exterminate coyotes, foxes, and prairie dogs in their dens; sodium cyanide M-44 devices to kill canines like foxes and coyotes; and other poisons to eliminate native birds like ravens,” reads the court filing.

“It’s astonishing to me that Wildlife Services has been killing millions of animals annually for the last century with taxpayer money, but with little public knowledge,” WildEarth Guardians attorney Jennifer Schwartz told The Daily Mail.

“This lawsuit aims to help shine the light on the agency’s actions and to get the government to reconsider publicly funding the extermination of native species when the current science shows removing top predators negatively affects entire ecosystems and that lethal control tactics are often inefficient and counterproductive anyway.”

The fact that we’re in the middle of the 6th mass extinction crisis seems to have little bearing on the agency’s policies. Like it did with the buffalo 200 years ago, the U.S. government clearly values agriculture above the survival of wild animals, potentially to the detriment of our own survival.

RELATED: The USDA Admits to Killing Over a Million Wild Animals a Year to Protect Livestock