Friday, September 16, 2005

Your Tax Dollars at Work Killing Species: Feds Killed 2.7 'Nuisance' Animals in '04

Ah yes, another great reminder of how well our tax dollars are being spent. I'm so happy to know that they are being used to actually kill other living beings (sarcastic for those who don't know). Keep it up Feds. Good to know that you're doing your best to contribute to suffering, death and ultimately, to speed extinction. Pat yourselves on the back! And, I bet your kids are very proud of you!

"Yep!" Little Suzie said. "My dad contributes to suffering, death and ultimately, to speed extinction. And that's why he's my hero!"

Feds Killed 2.7 'Nuisance' Animals in '04

Friday September 9, 2005 10:01 PM


Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) - The government killed more than 2.7 million ``nuisance''
animals last year, including wild turkeys and chickens, black bears,
coyotes and wolves, but primarily starlings, troublemaking birds that
destroy crops and contaminate livestock feed.

They were killed mainly because they threatened livestock, crops or people
in airplanes.

The number of animals killed, an increase of 1 million over 2003, drew
criticism from environmental groups.

``Wildlife Services killed more than five animals per minute in 2004,''
said Wendy Keefover-Ring, spokeswoman for Sinapu, a Colorado-based
advocacy group for wolves and other predators. ``The toll on ecosystems
wrought by this one agency is jaw-dropping.''

Wildlife Services, an Agriculture Department program, kills black bears
that like to eat campers' food in public parks or birds that congregate
near airports and could get sucked into aircraft engines.

``Lethal means is something that we do as a final resort, when we have
repeat problems,'' said Wildlife Services spokesman Dan Perry. ``It is not
something done indiscriminately.''

He described how the department helps land owners, airports and other
government agencies cut tall grasses, build fences, drain standing water
and take other measures to dampen creatures' enthusiasm for a place. For
example, officials may use fake dead vultures to drive away live ones.

``Believe it or not, it works; that's just the way the species reacts,''
Perry said.

The mission of Wildlife Services is to protect agriculture, property and
natural resources and to reduce wildlife threats to human health and
safety. The service used to be known as Animal Damage Control.

The program has a research center in Fort Collins, Colo., that is
developing contraceptives for deer and geese, and it also has a rabies
vaccination program for wildlife.

The number of animals killed probably rose because funding increased for
the department's cormorant program, aimed at protecting fish farms from
the large, voracious diving birds. Also targeted were flocks of Canada
geese that have stopped their annual migrations. The department killed
3,263 double-crested cormorants and 10,735 Canada geese last year.

The largest number of animals killed - 2.3 million - were starlings, which
are attracted to feedlots and defecate in cattle feed. Critics say the
poison used also kills owls, hawks, magpies, raccoons and cats. The
department also uses aerial gunning, traps or ``denning,'' which involves
killing animals in their dens.

``Most of the public has no idea that a significant portion of the federal
wildlife management budget is actually devoted to extermination,'' said
Jeff Ruch, executive director of Public Employees for Environmental
Responsibility. ``Animals that inconvenience humans become expendable
`varmints' that are then dispatched with stunning efficiency.''

Among the animals killed were:

-75,674 coyotes.

-31,286 beavers.

-3,907 foxes.

-397 black bears.

-359 cougars.

-191 wolves.

-143 feral or free-ranging chickens

-72 wild turkeys


On the Net:

Wildlife Services:

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