50,000 Animals Killed in Government Mistakes

Wildlife Services sounds like a government agency focused on serving wild animals, yet part of their activities includes killing them. Their website summarized its mission as, “APHIS works in a variety of ways to protect and improve the health, quality, and marketability of our nation’s animals (including various wildlife), animal products, and veterinary biologics.”

On the surface it sounds benign enough, so the fact they kill so many wild animals is shocking. Beavers, coyotes, raccoons, river otters, porcupines, snapping turtles, javelina, striped skunks and muskrats are just some of the innocent victims. It was reported over 2,300 river otters were killed by mistake in body-grip traps set by Wildlife Services since 2006. A total of 7,800 animals died in the same type of traps set by them just in the last six years. If you want to see an example of their work, you can download this PDF file which documented intentional and unintentional deaths. (It might open at 65%, but you can increase that in the tool bar at the top of the document.)  In 2009 there were nearly one million red-winged blackbirds intentionally eliminated, 25,000 beavers and over 1,700 bobcats.

An employee working with the agency said he was told to cover up the fact a federally protected eagle was caught and killed in one of their snares. If the Sacramento Bee’s account is correct, about 300 species of animals have been killed by Wildlife Services, including close to one million coyotes just in the last twelve years. Over one thousand dogs also have died, and some were family pets.

“Every year, Wildlife Services spends millions of dollars to kill thousands of predators, coyotes, wolves, bears, mountain lions, and many others as a subsidy for the livestock industry. The animals are shot, poisoned, gassed, snared, and caught in leghold traps. Wildlife Services programs operate on both private and public lands,” explains a non-profit called Predator Defense.

Doesn’t it seem a little peculiar tax dollars are being used to kill wild animals in service of the livestock industry – especially if the public is unaware of how their taxes are being spent?

If you want to contact the agency associated with Wildlife Services you can try that here.

Image Credit: Steve, Wiki Commons


Related Links

20 Billion Farm Animals Killed in 2010-2011

Gov’t Suppressing Dolphin Death Info?


Tricia Hamilton
Tricia Hamilton3 years ago

Government is stupid most of the time. This is why we have to keep writing and protesting them.

Carrie Anne Brown

thanks for sharing :)

heather g.
heather g.4 years ago

A human being is a part of the whole universe, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings as something separated from the rest, a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a prison, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty. Albert Einstein

"The thinking [wo]man must oppose all cruel customs no matter how deeply rooted in tradition or surrounded by a halo. We need a boundless ethic which will include the animals also." --Albert Schweitzer, Nobel Prize 1952

"Until we have the courage to recognize cruelty for what it is – whether its victim is human or animal – we cannot expect things to be much better in this world…We cannot have peace among men whose hearts delight in killing any living creature. By every act that glorifies or even tolerates such moronic delight in killing we set back the progress of humanity." Rachel Carson MA

"As long as there are slaughter houses, there will be battlefields...If a man aspires toward a righteous life, his first act of abstinence is from injury to animals." Leo Tolstoy

annie s.
annie statton4 years ago

why does this not surprise me !!!

Joan Mcallister
4 years ago

How can something like this happen, it is just so irresponsible,

Ernie Miller
william Miller4 years ago

this is just part of the insanity of this world we live in. if it makes you money it must be ok if it creates a job then it is a mirical!

Pamela H.
Pamela H.4 years ago

Animal suffering will continue as long as we lowly humans believe we are 'superior' to all other species. We are NOT. We have a lot to learn from them.

Susan Oliver
Susan Cytko4 years ago

This happened on a beach in Brazil


Dieablo F.
Dieablo F.4 years ago

Some animals deserve to be exterminated (invasive species) i.e. the rat epidemic in Australia that threatened the local species's ecosystem.

Although all the animals mentioned are NOT invasive and deserve to live in peace away from the meddling schemes of humans.

David V.
David V.4 years ago

You can't trust any gov't agency......they are all hypocrites.