Although the data provides the numbers, the reasons for the slaughter are almost non-existent and nor is there any information on the methods used to kill the animals.
According to the Wildlife Services, its job is to respond to requests by government agencies and to “resolve human/wildlife conflicts” in a strategic way. Moreover, farmers and ranchers also pay half the agency’s costs of killing animals that they view as a threat. “As wildlife damage increases, requests for assistance also increase,” said spokeswoman Carol Bannerman.
The 4 million animals which were killed last year included 75,326 coyotes, 866 bobcats, 528 river otters, 3,700 foxes, 12,186 prairie dogs, 973 red-tailed hawks, 419 black bears, and at least three eagles, golden and bald.
While the killing of invasive species is understandable, the Center for Biological Diversity claims that 2 million native animals were also eliminated. Apparently this is mainly due to the requests of farmers.
“Rather than dialing back in the face of criticism, the program that has the nerve to call itself ‘Wildlife Services’ seems to be putting its foot on the pedal in its systematic slaughter of America’s wild animals. These numbers pull back the veil on a staggering killing campaign, bankrolled by taxpayers, that’s happening every day beyond the view of most Americans,”said Amy Atwood, a senior attorney at the Center for Biological Diversity.