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Group Files Suit to Shut Down Federal Predator Control Program

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May 02, 2012

Group Files Suit to Shut Down Federal Predator Control Program

By Chad Love

An environmental group has filed suit against the federal government in a bid to shut down the USDA's predator control program.

From this story on cbsnews.com:
The Great Depression-era program the Department of Agriculture uses to kill coyotes, mountain lions and other predators that threaten livestock is outdated, illegal and a waste of federal money, conservationists say in a new lawsuit. Wildlife Services, an agency under USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, or APHIS, has refused for nearly two decades to conduct the environmental reviews necessary to justify the mass killings with traps, snares, poisons and aerial gunning, according to lawyers for WildEarth Guardians based in Sante Fe, N.M.

They are asking in a lawsuit filed Monday that a federal judge in Nevada shut down the agency that spent $127 million in 2010 to exterminate more than 5 million animals. "We want the court to ban its poisons, silence its guns, and pull up its traps because it's a horrendous misuse of our tax dollars to slaughter the nation's bears, wolves, coyotes, and myriad other species," said Wendy Keefover, the group's director of carnivore protection.

But proponents say the wildlife services program benefits local farmers and ranchers and saves millions in crop and predation losses by controlling predators and other nuisance species.

"Wildlife Services conducts its programs, at local request, and seeks to manage local damage, not to eradicate any native species," she (agency spokesperson Carol Bannerman) said Tuesday. About 38 percent of the agency's 2010 budget was spent to protect agricultural resources, she said in an email, and the service also chased away more than 20 million animals from areas where they were "causing damage or conflicts."That included making airports safer from wildlife strikes, collecting almost 90,000 samples of 47 diseases carried by wildlife, and protecting 131 different types of threatened or endangered species," Bannerman said.

Your thoughts? Is it a vital government service, or a waste of taxpayer money that mostly benefits large agribusiness entities that can easily afford to pay for their own predator control?

According to the story, the agency spent $127 million on control efforts in 2010. It further states that about half of the agency's budget comes from the federal government, while the other half comes from state and local governments and ag industry groups. So if that's true, roughly $63.5 million federal dollars were spent on ADC programs in 2010. In the current budget environment, would you rather have that $63.5 million going to predator control or going to other federal conservation programs that benefit hunters and anglers?

Comments (13)

Top Rated
All Comments
from davycrockettfv wrote 1 year 50 weeks ago

I feel like there's got to be a way to combine the two

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from jcarlin wrote 1 year 50 weeks ago

In this current environment, I think you're optimistic to think that the overflow would go to something which would benefit outdoorsman. Other than there'd be more private interest in allowing individual hunters on their land.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from 357 wrote 1 year 50 weeks ago

seems to me that we all do benefit from predator control, but we also need to be update in your current scientific data and it's interpretation, to make sure we're doing right by environment, animals, and people. When was this last really studied?

While they are studying I volunteer myself and my friends to go out and help with predator control.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from RJ Arena wrote 1 year 50 weeks ago

Predator control these days are a must, coyotes, wolves, bears, and cougars have a population that is on the rise, and these so called" animal rights activists" are misguided at best. I guarantee that 90% of them are city folk, have never been on a farm or ranch, and have no idea how many animals must be displaced(their word, mine is killed)so they can continue to enjoy their tofu burgers.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from rock rat wrote 1 year 50 weeks ago

I wonder who the judge is in Nevada, no doubt they are judge shopping for the best possible venue.

$63 Million? You betcha! Heck that's smaller than a gnat on the behind of any Federal Program, double it, triple it, add bounties and poison. I'd like to see Big Game Forever out competed by the public sector, why should hunters pay all the bills.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Pacific Hunter wrote 1 year 50 weeks ago

Yeah, the bears being trapped on small privately owned property managed for timber production and the APHIS agents controlling wolf populations with methods unusable by the public. This isn't purely benefiting big agribusiness, look at hunting data from the 50's 60's and 70's. Take a guess when mule deer pops started dropping and when predator control measures were cinched down. Within a couple years. This current 63 million, I will argue, is going directly to wildlife and it's preservation for everyone's enjoyment. Don't drink the animal rights cool aid, as always there is more to the story.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from larson014 wrote 1 year 50 weeks ago

this is just one thing that vegans just don't understand, eating only vegetables still kills animals by loss of habitat, displacement, runoff, competition, etc

if you think you can plant a field of lettuce (or a flock of sheep), and you wont have to protect it from wild animals, you need to get out of the concrete jungle more...

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Sarge01 wrote 1 year 50 weeks ago

Here in the mountains of WV where farmers raise sheep the federal trappers are trapping coyotes and are doing the farmer a good and valuable service. I for one finally see a federal program that is doing some good. The coyotes are becoming a real problem and the trappers are trying to bring them under control. I personally know two of the trappers and they are good at what they do.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Walter39 wrote 1 year 50 weeks ago

This is just another Libral thing that is a waste of time. Predators are crazy reproducers and if we dont have any controll over them then lives our going to be ruined. My main concern is the Wolves in my state. They are becoming awful and we need to do MORE to keep them in check. It will effect fedral spending if we quit taking out predators. They need to quit wasting our governments time with nonsence like this.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Clay Cooper wrote 1 year 50 weeks ago
from reb7 wrote 1 year 50 weeks ago

crazy

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from RockySquirrel wrote 1 year 49 weeks ago

Hoa about this. If big Agri-business stopped getting a free ride on predator control, would they hire there own professionals or let amateurs on their land to do it for free. (Of course they would want legal protection in case some idiot tripped and fell and broke his whatever).

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from jmshackelfo@aol.com wrote 1 year 49 weeks ago

Thats a lot of money when a .22 bullet costs 5 cents.

0 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment

from 357 wrote 1 year 50 weeks ago

seems to me that we all do benefit from predator control, but we also need to be update in your current scientific data and it's interpretation, to make sure we're doing right by environment, animals, and people. When was this last really studied?

While they are studying I volunteer myself and my friends to go out and help with predator control.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from davycrockettfv wrote 1 year 50 weeks ago

I feel like there's got to be a way to combine the two

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from RJ Arena wrote 1 year 50 weeks ago

Predator control these days are a must, coyotes, wolves, bears, and cougars have a population that is on the rise, and these so called" animal rights activists" are misguided at best. I guarantee that 90% of them are city folk, have never been on a farm or ranch, and have no idea how many animals must be displaced(their word, mine is killed)so they can continue to enjoy their tofu burgers.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from larson014 wrote 1 year 50 weeks ago

this is just one thing that vegans just don't understand, eating only vegetables still kills animals by loss of habitat, displacement, runoff, competition, etc

if you think you can plant a field of lettuce (or a flock of sheep), and you wont have to protect it from wild animals, you need to get out of the concrete jungle more...

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from jcarlin wrote 1 year 50 weeks ago

In this current environment, I think you're optimistic to think that the overflow would go to something which would benefit outdoorsman. Other than there'd be more private interest in allowing individual hunters on their land.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from rock rat wrote 1 year 50 weeks ago

I wonder who the judge is in Nevada, no doubt they are judge shopping for the best possible venue.

$63 Million? You betcha! Heck that's smaller than a gnat on the behind of any Federal Program, double it, triple it, add bounties and poison. I'd like to see Big Game Forever out competed by the public sector, why should hunters pay all the bills.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Pacific Hunter wrote 1 year 50 weeks ago

Yeah, the bears being trapped on small privately owned property managed for timber production and the APHIS agents controlling wolf populations with methods unusable by the public. This isn't purely benefiting big agribusiness, look at hunting data from the 50's 60's and 70's. Take a guess when mule deer pops started dropping and when predator control measures were cinched down. Within a couple years. This current 63 million, I will argue, is going directly to wildlife and it's preservation for everyone's enjoyment. Don't drink the animal rights cool aid, as always there is more to the story.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Sarge01 wrote 1 year 50 weeks ago

Here in the mountains of WV where farmers raise sheep the federal trappers are trapping coyotes and are doing the farmer a good and valuable service. I for one finally see a federal program that is doing some good. The coyotes are becoming a real problem and the trappers are trying to bring them under control. I personally know two of the trappers and they are good at what they do.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Walter39 wrote 1 year 50 weeks ago

This is just another Libral thing that is a waste of time. Predators are crazy reproducers and if we dont have any controll over them then lives our going to be ruined. My main concern is the Wolves in my state. They are becoming awful and we need to do MORE to keep them in check. It will effect fedral spending if we quit taking out predators. They need to quit wasting our governments time with nonsence like this.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Clay Cooper wrote 1 year 50 weeks ago
from reb7 wrote 1 year 50 weeks ago

crazy

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from RockySquirrel wrote 1 year 49 weeks ago

Hoa about this. If big Agri-business stopped getting a free ride on predator control, would they hire there own professionals or let amateurs on their land to do it for free. (Of course they would want legal protection in case some idiot tripped and fell and broke his whatever).

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from jmshackelfo@aol.com wrote 1 year 49 weeks ago

Thats a lot of money when a .22 bullet costs 5 cents.

0 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment

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