Environmentalists sue Trump’s USDA for killing more than 1.2 million native wild animals last year

“This mass slaughter is carried out in our backyards, on public lands, and in beloved parks; there is no limit to the program’s reach.”

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Recent federal data revealed taxpayers had funded the killing of over 1.2 million native animal species last year via Wildlife Services; a program within the USDA. 

The lawsuit states poisons, traps, and gun downs were used on several of our nation’s most majestic animals, including wolves, bears, coyotes, gray foxes, skunks, and mountain lions in a futile attempt to save livestock and other “resources.”

According to Common Dreams, the program has failed to provide an Environmental Impact Statement on the program’s impact on key ecosystems, nor has it provided timely supplemental analysis mandated by law. As such, the document states, WS is disregarding “new scientific publications on the ineffectiveness of lethal predator control and the negative cascading ecological consequences of removing keystone species from their native ecosystems,” according to the filing.

“Wildlife Services is infamous for the scope and cruelty of its killing campaigns across the nation. To carry out such a horrific onslaught on native wildlife in the midst of a mass extinction event and a climate crisis, without any real knowledge of the impact is utterly outrageous,” Chris Smith, southern Rockies wildlife advocate for WildEarth Guardians stated.  

WildEarth Guardians, a nonprofit that protects and restores the wildlife, wild places, wild rivers, and health of the American West, has filed the lawsuit accusing Wildlife Services (WS) of running afoul of various federal regulations stipulated by the National Environmental Policy Act, Council on Environmental Quality regulations, and Administrative Procedure Act.

“This mass slaughter is carried out in our backyards, on public lands, and in beloved parks; there is no limit to the program’s reach. Year, after year, Wildlife Services ignores the public’s desire for coexistence with wildlife, opting instead to kill bears for scratching trees in the woods, coyotes for making dens on public land, and wolves for preying on unattended cattle in the wilderness,” says Samantha Bruegger, Wildlife Coexistence Campaigner for WildEarth Guardians.

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