Wolves Scapegoated: “Less Than 1% of Cattle Killed by Native Carnivores and Domestic Dogs”

Wendy Keefover-Ring wrote a terrific piece for the Huffpost, Denver about the government’s war on our native carnivores, specifically wolves. She writes:

“Less than a quarter of one percent, 0.23%, of the American cattle inventory was lost to native carnivores and dogs in 2010, according to a Department of Agricultural report released last week. These findings call into question the tens of millions per year taxpayers and livestock growers spend on lethal control of native carnivores.

“The government’s own data show that the real killers of cattle are not a few endangered wolves or other wildlife — they’re illness and weather. Yet, the predation myth has directly contributed to a federal, 100-year, paramilitary assault on millions of native animals and birds in America. Despite governmental evidence about miniscule livestock losses, ongoing covert federal wildlife-killing operations are conducted each year on our most treasured wildlands and forests.”

  The  numbers are from the NASS (National Agricultural Statistics Service) the sister agency of the USDA Wildlife Services. Every five years, the number of cattle deaths, due to non-predation and predation, are compiled, excluding Alaska.

Number of Head and Total Value of Cattle and Calf Death Loss by Cause – United States: 2010

http://www.nass.usda.gov/Publications/Todays_Reports/reports/catlos11.pdf

As you can see coyotes and domestic dogs are the number one and two predators of cattle BUT the real news is respiratory illness is the main killer of cattle, claiming over a million cows in 2010.

 Wolves barely make a dent in cattle losses, yet Wildlife (Dis)Services relentlessly hounds and kills them. WHY?? It’s a boondoggle, a red herring and your tax payer dollars are contributing to the pogrom against wolves.

Write to Ken Salazar, Interior Secretary and demand Wildlife Services be de-funded. Aside from persecuting and slaughtering wolves WS  kills millions of our wildlife every year.

Ask yourself why were wolves underhandedly delisted by Congress? Why are two wolf hunts in Idaho and Montana being planned? Why are wolves being hounded in the Lolo zone in Idaho? Why is Oregon’s tiny wolf population being targeted when ranchers know they lose thousands of cattle to other causes?

Why is this happening? Because a small, vocal minority of haters are influencing wolf policy. This is all trumped-up hysteria.

The media contributes to the demonizing of wolves by writing about miniscule depredations, as is happening now in Oregon, while non-predation is the main killer of cattle.  I guess talking about cows dying from pneumonia, metabolic disease and weather doesn’t sell papers.  Giving the extreme wolf haters a forum to vent their hate, in a barrage of “wolf news” makes the situation even more volatile.   Try and find a positive article written about wolves in Northwestern newspapers, you’ll have to do some serious digging.  The old adage, if you don’t learn from your mistakes you’re doomed to repeat them fits this newest wave of wolf persecution, with deadly results.  Wolves are once again the ultimate scapegoats.

We can also thank Congress, especially the 81 Senators who voted for the budget wolf delisting rider, which gutted the ESA and stripped wolves of their protections in the Northern Rockies, literally giving them no place to hide from the hate.

Government Report: Less Than 1% of Cattle Killed by Native Carnivores and Domestic Dogs

Wendy Keefover-Ring

WildEarth Guardians Carnivore Protection Director

Posted: 05/18/11 04:35 PM ET

Less than a quarter of one percent, 0.23%, of the American cattle inventory was lost to native carnivores and dogs in 2010, according to a Department of Agricultural report released last week. These findings call into question the tens of millions per year taxpayers and livestock growers spend on lethal control of native carnivores.

The government’s own data show that the real killers of cattle are not a few endangered wolves or other wildlife — they’re illness and weather. Yet, the predation myth has directly contributed to a federal, 100-year, paramilitary assault on millions of native animals and birds in America. Despite governmental evidence about miniscule livestock losses, ongoing covert federal wildlife-killing operations are conducted each year on our most treasured wildlands and forests.

Read More: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/wendy-keefoverring/native-carnivore-controls-unnecessary_b_863717.html

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Photo: Courtesy Wikimedia Commons

Posted in: Wolf Wars, Wildlife Services War on Wildlife

Tags: wolf depredation a boondoggle, wolf depredation miniscule, wolf myth, wolf persecution

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