Millions of tax dollars for killing egrets

This video from the USA is called Brown-headed cowbird.

From Wildlife Extra:

US spends millions killing dangerous pests – Mallards, egrets, godwits & doves

2400 ‘dangerous’ mallard ducks were killed by US ‘Wildlife Services’

USA has spent $1 billion killing wildlife – Why?

May 2012. The US Government spends hundreds of millions every year on ‘exterminating wildlife pests’. We can understand that, in some cases, perhaps a Mountain lion that is killing sheep, or ….? There must be something else; there can be a good reason to kill a few animals, but the number and species that have actually been killed seem extraordinary.

‘Dangerous animals’ – A joke

However Wildlife Extra has looked at the list of animals that were killed in 2010 by a US federal agency, ‘Wildlife Services’ and found the following dangerous animals and pests were amongst those killed by the ‘Wildlife Services’. Surely some of this is a joke.

The dangerous pests include:

2400 Mallard ducks
130,000 brown headed cowbirds
20,000 Mourning doves (20 million are shot annually for sport)
3500 cattle egrets
3 merlins
100,000 grackles
2 bar tailed godwits
360 cougar
600 otters (of which 450 were ‘unintentional’)
200 Great horned owls
2 whimbrel

To see the full list, click here.

WildEarth Guardians sues USA’s biggest wildlife killer: The Federal Government

WildEarth Guardians has sued the federal agency responsible for killing more than 5 million animals annually for its refusal to analyse the environmental consequences of its actions in almost two decades.

$1 billion spent on killing 23 million animals

Between 2004 and 2010, Wildlife Services, a branch of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, spent nearly $1 billion to kill nearly 23 million animals using aerial guns, poisons, traps, snares, and hounds, purportedly to protect agriculture and other private interests as part of a grossly ineffective and wasteful program. Wildlife Services, however, continues to rely on a woefully outdated environmental analysis for its wildlife-killing activities that fails to take into account new reports on the risks and inefficiencies of its program, evolving public values for wildlife, and new scientific and economic information concerning wildlife management.

‘Wildlife services’

“Wildlife Services employs an arsenal of weaponry to kill America’s native wildlife and it’s time that courts neutralize this agency. 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, Director of Carnivore Protection for WildEarth Guardians.

Outdated information

Wildlife Services relies on an 18 year-old environmental document to conduct its wildlife-eradication programs in violation of federal law. The research cited in that assessment dates as far back as 1936, with most studies dating from the 1980’s. WildEarth Guardians has presented significant new information to the agency on the costs, ineffectiveness, and environmental harms of wildlife-killing programs to the agency, but it has refused to consider the new data in implementing its actions.

“Wildlife Services relies upon antiquated studies in order to justify its wildlife-killing activities,” said Ashley Wilmes, staff attorney for WildEarth Guardians, “and we want it to shut down its lethal operations-particularly those that are conducted in designated Wilderness Areas.”

Cyanide booby traps & helicopters

Wildlife Services liberally distributes sodium cyanide booby traps and shoots tens of thousands of native carnivores such as coyotes and wolves from helicopters and airplanes on public lands, including in wilderness areas in violation of federal law. The agency’s killing methods are ubiquitous and indiscriminate and annually kill untold numbers of “non-target” species.

Wildlife Services last issued a review of its program in 1994, when it studied the environmental consequences of killing only 17 target species, based upon its records from 1988. Since that study, its budget has grown by about 400 percent and the numbers of target species it kills is closer to 300.

About half of Wildlife Services’ budget is funded from federal tax dollars, while the rest is provided by unnamed “cooperators” such as states, counties, municipalities, and even industry groups like the American Sheep Industry Alliance and the Farm Bureau.

2010 – $126 million to kill 5 million animals

“Under the National Environmental Policy Act, Wildlife Services cannot continue to rely on this outdated and insufficient analysis of its program, especially since the agency spent $126 million in 2010 to kill 5,008,928 animals,” said Wilmes.

The agency has been audited several times by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Inspector General and sanctioned by the Environmental Protection Agency because of the dangers it poses to the public and its own employees, including even bioterrorism hazards and aircraft accidents.

“All this killing has no real benefit-even to the massive agricultural industry it purports to support. It’s time that Wildlife Services stops costly and egregious wildlife killing on our nation’s public and private lands,” stated Keefover. “A thorough environmental analysis might finally reveal the uselessness and futile nature of Wildlife Services and shutter its operations.”

4 thoughts on “Millions of tax dollars for killing egrets

  1. Pingback: American bird flocks in winter | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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