The third installment of Sacramento Bee journalist Tom Knudson's investigation into the Federal Wildlife Services program has been released. In this final chapter, "Suggestions in changing Wildlife Services range from new practices to outright bans," Knudson begins by discussing the non-lethal livestock protection measures currently being adopted by a county that no longer contracts to Wildlife Services. If expanded, these humane practices would not only save the lives of millions of wild animals each year, but would annually save taxpayers millions of dollars as well.
On April 30, 2012 WildEarth Guardians sued the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Wildlife Services branch (for more, read: Lawsuit Filed Against Wildlife Contract Killers). The announcement came just one day after Knudson began his series of three articles exposing the truth behind this destructive agency that "answers to nobody."
In the last ten years alone (2002-2011), Wildlife Services has spent hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars to kill more than 3,678 mountain lions. Approximately one-third of these lions were killed in California, where the agency was recently caught illegally trapping and slaughtering lions. See "Federal Cougar Hunters Break State Law" for more details.
Knudson goes on to talk about proposed bans on Wildlife Services' arsenal of killing devices and poisons, how ranchers have effectively bought a federal agency, and the side affects of removing native species. Read the full article now.
Also, be sure to check out MLF's feature article "Grim Anniversary" by Camilla Fox for the history of Wildlife Services.