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Aerial Gunning Fact Sheet

For more information, visit the website of the Coalition to End Aerial Gunning of Wildlife.

The use of fixed-wing aircraft to hunt coyotes from the air began in the early 1920s. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)’s Wildlife Services (WS) agency (formerly Animal Damage Control (ADC)) uses fixed-wing aircraft and helicopters in its attempts to protect livestock from predation and to boost populations of game species. Employed primarily as a “preventive control” measure to kill coyotes prior to lambing season, aerial gunning has been criticized as ineffective, ethically indefensible, and an enormous waste of taxpayer dollars. The human cost has also been severe, as the dangerous mix of high speed flying and low altitudes has seen at least 22 crashes during the past 16 years, with 7 human fatalities (all since 1996) and 25 injuries (information obtained by AGRO through the Freedom of Information Act).

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