Prairie dogs are not only insanely adorable, but they are highly social and smart too – they even have their own “towns” and “language.” Who would ever want to sentence thousands of these precious animals to death? Sadly, the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) is planning to do just that to 100 prairie dog colonies in North Dakota. The Care2 Petition Team is pleading with the USFS to drop this cruel and unnecessary mass slaughter.
The cull is the result of complaints by cattle farmers (isn’t it always?!) that the prairie dogs are eating all the grass that is needed for their cattle. Well, first of all, the black-tailed prairie dog has called North Dakota home for thousands of years, even co-existing with bison. Secondly, these natural grazers actually help maintain healthy levels of grasslands. Studies have found that grass that sits above prairie dog towns actually has higher levels of protein and nitrogen, making it highly favored by other grazing animals.
Additionally, due to the digging and scratching activity, short grassland areas have a higher number of diverse plant species. Prairie dogs also prefer open patches of grass so they typically look to graze on previously grazed grassland – i.e. land that has already been grazed over by cattle. Perhaps the real issue here is cattle ranchers are expanding too far and putting too many cows on exhausted pieces of land. Thirdly, killing innocent animals is never the answer! If you agree, sign the petition and stand up for these helpless prairie dogs before they are poisoned and left to die a slow, painful death. They don’t deserve this!
Urge the USFS to call this cruel and inhumane plan off immediately, as there are other ways to humanely control prairie dog populations. Share this petition with your network to help North Dakota’s black-tailed prairie dogs before it’s too late.
Image Source: Pixabay