Wildlife Services Brutality Exposed, WildEarth Guardians Sues….

“An Arizona wildlife official photographed these heads of mountain lions killed to “protect” cattle in 1989 by Wildlife Services, formerly Animal Damage Control, and provided to the state agency for research. In 2005, Wildlife Services killed 330 mountain lions nationally.”

UPDATE: May 6, 2012

I’m pulling this post back up to the top of the blog because the SacBee posted the third part of their expose on Animal Damage Control  Wildlife Services today.  Please scroll down for link.


It’s been a long time coming.  Animal Damage Control, better known by the misnomer Wildlife Services,  is finally getting their due.  WildEarth Guardians is suing  the agency and it couldn’t come any sooner.

From the Washington Post:

“They are asking in a lawsuit filed Monday that a federal judge in Nevada shut down the agency that spent $127 million in 2010 to exterminate more than 5 million animals.”

At the same time, in a three-part series,  the Sacramento Bee is exposing the agencies’ dark, dirty secrets.

Wildlife Services is a barbaric federal agency, the extermination arm of the USDA. They relentlessly kill America’s wildlife because agriculture considers any animal that gets in its way to be collateral damage.  This federal  goon squad shoots, traps, poisons, snares and slaughters millions of animals every year and no group of animals has suffered more than predators. The war on wolves, bears, coyotes and mountain lions has been merciless. The suffering this agency causes is immeasurable.


The Sacramento Bee’s Exposé On Wildlife Services

Deadly Poison 1080 Compound 

The killing agency: Wildlife Services’ brutal methods leave a trail of animal death

By Tom Knudson

Published: Sunday, Apr. 29, 2012 – 12:00 am | Page 1A
Last Modified: Wednesday, May. 2, 2012 – 10:52 pm

First of three parts

The day began with a drive across the desert, checking the snares he had placed in the sagebrush to catch coyotes.

Gary Strader, an employee of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, stepped out of his truck near a ravine in Nevada and found something he hadn’t intended to kill.

There, strangled in a neck snare, was one of the most majestic birds in America, a federally protected golden eagle.

“I called my supervisor and said, ‘I just caught a golden eagle and it’s dead,’ ” said Strader. “He said, ‘Did anybody see it?’ I said, ‘Geez, I don’t think so.’

“He said, ‘If you think nobody saw it, go get a shovel and bury it and don’t say nothing to anybody.’ ”

Read more here: http://www.sacbee.com/2012/04/28/4450678/the-killing-agency-wildlife-services.html#storylink=cpy


Wildlife Services’ deadly force opens Pandora’s box of environmental problems

By Tom Knudson

Published: Monday, Apr. 30, 2012 – 12:00 am | Page 1A
Last Modified: Wednesday, May. 2, 2012 – 10:52 pm

Second of three parts

Like the prow of a ship, the Granite Mountains rise sharply from the creamy-white playa of the Black Rock Desert in Nevada.

Here, in rugged terrain owned by the American public, a little-known federal agency called Wildlife Services has waged an eight-year war against predators to try to help an iconic Western big-game species: mule deer.

With rifles, snares and aerial gunning, employees have killed 967 coyotes and 45 mountain lions at a cost of about $550,000. But like a mirage, the dream of protecting deer by killing predators has not materialized.

“It didn’t make a difference,” said Kelley Stewart, a large-mammal ecologist at the University of Nevada, Reno.

For decades, Wildlife Services, part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, has specialized in trapping, poisoning and shooting predators in large numbers, largely to protect livestock and, more recently, big game.

Now such killing is coming under fire from scientists, former employees and others who say it often doesn’t work and can set off a chain reaction of unintended, often negative consequences.

Read more here: http://www.sacbee.com/2012/04/30/4452212/wildllife-services-deadly-force.html#storylink=cpy


Unforgiving Snares and How They Work



Long struggles in leg-hold device make for gruesome deaths


By Tom Knudson
Published: Sunday, Apr. 29, 2012 – 12:00 am | Page 15A
Last Modified: Wednesday, May. 2, 2012 – 10:52 pm

No tool in Wildlife Services’ arsenal kills more nonselectively – or slowly – than the leg-hold trap.

Since 2000, more than 90 species of wildlife have died by mistake in agency traps, including pronghorn antelope, mule deer, river otters, swift foxes, badgers, porcupines and federally protected bald eagles, government records show.

But whether animals are caught accidentally or not, they often struggle for days and die of exposure, injuries and other causes long before a trapper returns to the site.

Read more here: http://www.sacbee.com/2012/04/28/4450686/ex-trapper-leg-hold-device-probably.html#storylink=cpy


Environmental group sues to halt killing practices of federal wildlife agency

By Tom Knudson

Published: Wednesday, May. 2, 2012 – 12:00 am | Page 1A
Last Modified: Wednesday, May. 2, 2012 – 10:37 pm

The federal government’s wildlife damage control program is based on outdated science and indiscriminate tools that kill many non-target animals, including protected species, according to a lawsuit filed Monday by WildEarth Guardians, a Colorado-based environmental group.

Read more here: http://www.sacbee.com/2012/05/02/4458430/environmental-group-sues-to-halt.html#storylink=cpy


Suggestions in changing Wildlife Services range from new practices to outright bans

By Tom Knudson
Published: Sunday, May. 6, 2012 – 12:00 am | Page 1A

Last of three parts

Like many ranchers, Bill Jensen drives a pickup, shoots a high-powered rifle and loves to talk about sheep, cattle and the outdoors.

But unlike many ranchers, he no longer relies on the federal government for predator control.

Nor does the Marin County rancher have a choice. Ten years ago Marin, known for its environmental activism, halted lethal federal control and launched a program emphasizing nonlethal methods. Jensen, initially skeptical, has turned the program into a success with miles of electric fencing.

“We’ve pretty much learned how to control coyotes on our own,” said Jensen, whose losses to coyotes have declined 60 percent to 70 percent – from about 50 lambs a year when a federal trapper worked there to 15 to 20 today. “Anything that can help you 24 hours a day, like electric fencing, is a good thing.”

What’s happening in Marin County shows that ranchers can co-exist with predators without lethal federal control. It is part of a broader and varied spirit of reform aimed at finding new, less destructive ways to live with predators and other wildlife.

Read more here: http://www.sacbee.com/2012/05/06/4469067/suggestions-in-changing-wildlife.html#storylink=cpy


Wildlife Services At Work

Thanksgiving Week Massacre of  Basin Butte Wolves

December 6, 2009



Remembering The Hog Heaven Wolf Pack

October 23, 2009



Sage Creek Pack Wiped Out By Aerial Gunners In Montana

October 10, 2009


Thank you WildEarth Guardians and The Sacramento Bee for shining a very bright light on this gruesome agency that should be defunded or eliminated altogether.


Top Photo: Missoula Independent

Photo: Courtesy Wikimedia Commons

Posted in: Wildlife Services War on Wildlife, Wolf Wars

Tags: USDA, Animal Damage Control AKA Wildlife Services, Sacramento Bee, WildEarth Guardians, war on wildlife, traps, snares, 1080 compound, M-44’s, Sage Creek Pack, Hog Heaven Pack, Basin Butte Pack

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18 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Something must be changed in this government. I would say..the people. These politicians are demented, sick ….cannot say the rest. The farmers are even worse. They are not only ignorant, but they are blood thirsty idiots. What is the matter with these people? If they can’t manage their livestock without killing the rest of the animals who were here before them, then maybe they should get a different life. These animals have not caused all the harm the farmers have claimed. They lie for their own benefit. America is very wise to them, and America would be happy if they found another planet to live on. We don’t care where, just not here. They are truly hated as so is the Idaho government. They are slaughtering wolves on PUBLIC land. And to kill the majestic mountain lion with such barbaric, cruel means….maybe they ought to serve that substance for dinner and see how THEIR families react. Wildlife Services is a black mark in American history. These states I, and my friends, and their friends, and all their families, etc are boycotting them.



    • I couldn’t agree more. I am fed up with BLM, DWR, and now I learn about ‘Animal Services’….so fed up I’m running for state Representative. I encourage everyone to be a candidate. I may not win, but at least I’ll know I didn’t just let them keep the seat without a fight. It’s a lot of work, but it’s one more method to try. Protesting and calling politicians had begun to seem completely useless. This is giving me a sense of hope again; maybe running for office will do the same for you. Run for the animals, for decency, compassion, and honesty. God knows more of those are needed, and they’re not going to come from most of the current politicians.


      • I hope that you do get elected. Here is an American quote which I believe applies to your philosophy.

        “It has always seemed strange to me… the things we admire in men, kindness and generosity, openness, honesty, understanding and feeling, are the concomitants of failure in our system.

        And those traits we detest, sharpness, greed, acquisitiveness, meanness, egotism and self-interest, are the traits of success. And while men admire the quality of the first they love the produce of the second.”
        John Steinbeck


      • What state are you running for, Lynn?


      • Lynn,
        I would gladly vote for you and help you in your campaign and I am sure that other wildlife supporters would do the same.
        Other Pro Wildlife politicians are:
        Congressman George Miller – Dem. California
        Dianne Feinstein- Dem. California.
        If all candidates that share the same ideology band together, maybe we can turn things around and protect these special animals.
        Toni Stark
        Truth About Wolves


    • Thank you, Anne. And let’s not forget to boycott ALL the businesses based in the Rocky Mountain states. Let’s include Cold Water Creek, Coors, Idaho potatoes, Sun Valley and all other vacation spots and guides and gun dealers employed in such locations. Most importantly, let’s remember to limit our beef and lamb consumption to that which is labeled “local or New Zeland or Austrailian, grass fed.” And please, please, let’s each of us sign more petitions and write more notes to our congress people and the White House: tell them we will not vote for anyone who ignores this disgusting cowardly massacre of animals.

      Above all I beg you to write or sign petitions to members of the US Senate, and voice your objections to the NRA supported Sportsmen’s Heritage Act of 2012, and other bills attached to same. Read them and weep; the stated purpose of these is to allow not just shooting, but also heavy vehicular traffic, mining, and hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) to take over all National Forests and National Parklands.

      Now here’s another frightening thought. Remember the predator killing frenzy was first espoused by three politicians: the rocket scientists Butch Otter and Sarah Palin, and Interior Secretary Ken Salazar (of gulf oil spill fame). At this point the slaughters are beginning to smell like the first wave of an organized political effort to pave the way for the natural gas industry to continue the environmental havoc its hydraulic fracturing has brought upon western Pennsylvania, North Dakota, Ohio, and much of ONTARIO WHERE STEP ONE WAS TO ELIMINATE THE WOLVES. Web sites such as “show me the money” reveal BP oil has been a significant financial supporter of Salizar and Obama. As vice president, republican Dick Cheney forced through a change in environmental regulations that effectively killed EPA’s role in maintaining standards to control environmental damage from fracking. (Note that Haliburton, Cheney’s corporation, supplies the equipment used for this deadly process.)

      Not wanting to be labeled by cowboys or congressmen as a nut case conspiracy theorist, I subscribed to a stock traders’ site… My motto: keep your friends close but your enemies closer. All year this site has been urging me to buy big blocks of stock in various forms of natural gas speculation. Translation: the 1% is shelling out huge amounts of money to bribe farmers and ranchers to give drilling rights to the oil and gas companies which in turn donate to the politicians.

      These sub-humanoids are actually promoting destruction of our nation’s water, woodlands, grasslands, and all life forms thereon, just to enrich themselves further. In my opinion, their encouragement of apex predator slaughter is intended as a pathetic distraction. Too soon, those of us who care will no longer be able to say, “What about the animals? What about the little people, i.e., us, the 99% ? What about our shared habitat of rivers, forests, farms and beaches?”

      We, in the name of our beloved wolves, can not give up embracing the entire issue of habitat and apex predator eradication. Please respond if you agree. Thanks.


  2. That agency should be shut down and the clowns sent packing. Wonder if they are fit for any other jobs besides harassing and killing.


    • Sure. They could do a lot of good as agents in the war on drugs in Mexico and Columbia.


    After much difficulty, I have found the phone number for the Director of Wildlife Services (APHIS). Spread the word and let’s inundate him, and Secretary Vilsack with outrage phone calls.
    Wildlife Services: Deputy William Clay, 202-799-7095
    Dept. of Agriculture: Secretary Tom Vilsack, 202-720-3631
    email for Sec. Vilsack, AGSEC@USDA.gov

    It’s time we citizens, taxpayers, as their bosses, demand they change their violent slaughter of OUR land’s animals. Legal, economic, political methods continue to fail. We the people have to converge on them to demand they stop the slaughter.

    At least just make one call each and ask for Clay and Vilsack to demand they stop senseless needless slaughter of animals.


  4. This is the way to take it to Wildlife Services ,I plan to make a flyer to hand out to the kids at Memorial Day Parades showing them the reality of their governments involvement,the younger generation has to be made aware of the lies that the gov is telling the citizens ,graphic pics like this show the pain inflicted on our countries natural predators(an asset to the natural chain) instead of the spin told by most hunting groups and states DNR ,


  5. This is beyond shameful. The cruelty and evil that human beings are capable of knows no bounds – even to our own kind. This is about as ugly as it gets. This “agency” needs to update itself and get with the 21st century – and there is bill that was introduced in Congress to rid our environment of these deadly poisons that are still being used, and I hope our Congress and Secretary of Agricultre have the good sense to pass it and discontinue them.


  6. Well done Nabeki this is all packaged up rather nice ,it just needs distribution vehicles,facebook,twitter,ect………………..nice


  7. Notifying the public is just as important as calling legislators. Talk to family and friends about boycotting beef. It’s not good for you anyhow. I’m calling Cabela’s and will tell them no more catalogs and why. Coldwater Creek had to restructure. Make sure they know why they are being boycotted. I called them.


  8. This government will do anything to get votes. The only answer is to cut off their money.


  9. I will never understand the killing of our wildlife what is wrong with our Government if you keep this up there will be nothing left but rich Congressmen.Please stop this slaughter of the wolves and other wildlife.


  10. Let’s rip this wide open, it’s a scandal


  11. A little bit of hope here maybe, interesting film to catch when its released….


  12. The money spent on this program could be put to better use, like busting poachers. In fact, I’ve already got a name idea for such an organization: Federal Poacher Control. I know it’s not very original, but it’s the best name I could think of at the time. Maybe Poacher Busters would be a good name, too.


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