Get The Facts:
- Each year, in response to actual or perceived conflicts with wildlife, millions of animals are killed by the federal government and by private wildlife damage control operators. Lethal control efforts are largely inhumane and generally doomed to fail as they don’t address the root causes of conflicts or provide long-lasting solutions.
- Most conflicts with wildlife can be mitigated or prevented by simple changes to human behavior, as outlined in our Living with Wildlife brochures and resources about how to coexist with native wild animals such as the coyote.
- Effective approaches to common conflicts with urban wildlife include tightly securing garbage cans, capping chimneys, and not leaving pet food outside.
- Lethal control often fails to resolve conflicts with wildlife over the long-term because new animals quickly fill the void created when animals are removed. Unless the actual cause of conflicts, such as access to food, water, and shelter, are addressed, problems typically recur.
- “Nuisance” wildlife control is a growing and largely unregulated industry. Many states have few or no regulations providing proper oversight or defining humane care and handling of wildlife affected by this trade.
- Wildlife control operators, hired to handle conflicts with “nuisance” animals, often employ inhumane killing methods including drowning, bludgeoning, and injection of chemical solvents such as acetone. (the primary ingredient in nail polish remover) — methods still legal in most states.
- More than 2.5 million animals are killed by the federal government each year, through the United States. Department of Agriculture’s “Wildlife Services” (WS) program. Animals targeted include coyotes, bears, wolves, bobcats, vultures, cormorants, and ravens, all killed to benefit private and corporate interests.
- Wildlife Services kills close to 100,000 native carnivores each year, primarily to protect livestock interests. Animals such as wolves and bears are also killed to boost “game” stocks for hunters and to protect corporate-owned timberlands.
- In every western state, the cost of Wildlife Services’ livestock protection work exceeds reported livestock losses.
- Methods employed by Wildlife Services to kill animals include trapping, aerial gunning, poisoning, denning, and shooting.
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