The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Wildlife Services branch, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHS), released a data report outlining the reported incidents of how they dealt with wildlife over the course of 2017, and the data is disturbing to say the least.
Under the category of “killed or euthanized”, 2,307,122 animals are listed, with 987,047 of them being classified as “invasive.” That means 1,320,075 “non-invasive” animals were killed by the government in 2017.
Of these non-invasive species include: 23,644 beavers, 22,924 mourning doves, 2,196 red-crested cardinals, 1,513 red foxes, 983 bobcats, 355 gray wolves, 330 great egrets, 316 mountain lions, and 35 great horned owls. All of these were killed intentionally.
APHS states, ”WS personnel recommend and conduct wildlife damage management activities to protect many types of resources.” And as you may have already guessed, agricultural resources, i.e. livestock, are at the top of concern to “protect.”
APHS describes “agricultural resources” as “those associated with farming and ranching, and associated industries. This includes livestock (e.g. sheep, cattle, calves, fowl, and swine), crops (e.g. corn, soybeans, strawberries, and pecans), rangeland and timber, aquaculture (e.g. farm raised catfish and trout), agricultural animal feed, and animal products. WS activities to protect agriculture may include predation management to protect livestock, alleviation of bird damage at aquaculture facilities, and application of integrated waterfowl and deer damage management programs to reduce crop damage.”
To read the Wildlife Services’ data report in its entirety, go here.
it is true human-wildlife conflict is a serious issue all around the globe, but what it all boils down to is the fact that we humans are in fact the “invasive” species that has overpopulated the natural habitats of the Earth’s once-bountiful flora and fauna. Wildlife is not a nuisance and animals have the God-given right to live in their natural habitats, and it is a downright shame that it is legal and acceptable for the government to interfere with Mother Nature and kill innocent wildlife, and all for the sake of greed and the expansion of harmful industry. Want to do something to help counteract this attack on our great nation’s wildlife? Check out these tips for inspiration on you can help save wildlife from extinction.
One of the best ways we can help give wildlife a fighting chance is to examine how our food choices feed into these destructive agricultural practices. To learn more, check out the #EatForThePlanet book!
Image Source: Pixabay