A coyote

An Associated Press article carried in the Washington Post on May 1, 2012, reports that WildEarth Guardians is challenging in court the practice by the Wildlife Service, an arm of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, of killing millions of wild animals every year.

While the American public generally assumes that the government is protecting the nation’s wildlife, in fact, the Wildlife Service (not the same as the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, which is a different branch of government) is killing bears, coyotes, wolves, cougars, and many other species, including millions of migratory birds, and sometimes accidentally killing Golden and Bald Eagles and people’s pets as well.

The lawsuit by WildEarth Guardians states that scientific studies which prove that predators are an essential, beneficial part of the eco-system are being ignored by the Wildlife Service, and that current environmental impact studies are not being conducted.

The Washington Post reports that the agency spent $1 billion to kill around 23 million animals between 2004-2010.

The killing of animals by the Wildlife Service is in response to local requests to protect agricultural crops and resources, including farm animals, from predation.  The lawsuit maintains that the program benefits mostly large agribusinesses, and needlessly kills wildlife that are meant to be under government protection.

The Sacramento Bee is running a very informative three-part series on this issue.

Congratulations to WildEarth Guardians for taking this important step to hold the Wildlife Service accountable for the deaths of so many wild animals.

To read the original article in the Washington Post, click here

For the link to the Sacramento Bee series, and to see how you can help WildEarth Guardians in their valiant efforts to protect American wildlife, click here.

Photo: © Dgareri / Dreamstime.com