In 1931 the Animal Damage Control Act was authorized by the Secretary of Agriculture to "conduct campaigns for the destruction or control" of animals considered threats to agriculture/ranching interests. Eighty years ago, this Act codified the federal government's involvement in predator control. Under this guise of this arcane law, government agents continue to trap, snare, poison, and shoot any animal who "may" harm livestock, aquaculture, or agricultural crops.
Camilla Fox, founder of Project Coyote, recently reviewed the lurid history of this government killing machine. Animal genocide, truly outright war on wildlife, continues today so there is no reason at all to celebrate anniversary of the Animal Damage Control act. As Ms. Fox notes, "Under this Act, the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Wildlife Services (WS) program conducts its quiet, relentless war against North America's wildlife. In 2009 alone, WS killed more than 4 million animals in the United States including 115,000 mammalian carnivores; close to 90,000 were coyotes. Much of this killing takes place on public lands throughout the West.
"United States citizens foot the bill for this carnage; approximately $120 million dollars are spent on this senseless and ecologically reckless program each year. State and county governments are provided incentives to contract with USDA WS through matching cooperative funding agreements."
There are much more humane and effective programs to deal with human-wildlife conflicts, such as the Marin County Strategic Plan for Protection of Livestock and Wildlife. Please take the time to write to your representatives and ask them to support legislation to stop the killing of wildlife for humane and practical reasons. What a waste of $120 million.