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. 

Recent Posts in Animal Emotions

Captive Killer Whales Die Much Younger than Wild Orcas

A new study shows captive killer whales don't live as long as wild relatives

Dogs and Underdogs: Happiness at Both Ends of the Leash

Elizabeth Abbott's book and Toni Shelbourne's "Among the Wolves" are great reads

Kids and Animals Helping One Another at Green Chimneys

A conference on human-animal interaction shows how much can be done for all

Judge Recognizes Two Chimpanzees as Legal Persons: A First

Two chimpanzees, Hercules and Leo, are determined to be persons in NY court

Dogs, Humans, and the Oxytocin-Mediated Strong Social Bond

Mutual gazing by dogs but not wolves increases oxytocin levels in humans.

Why Writing for Psychology Today Is a Good Idea

Writing for popular audiences is more effective than publishing in journals.