Reform, Retire, or Simply Reload?

Despite the evidence that non-lethal methods can be effective, Wildlife Services continues its killing. Indeed, the greatest change at the agency seems to be its increased interest in targeting “invasive” species with “traditional” techniques.

Preview of Wild Things, produced by the Natural Resources Defense Council, to be released early this summer. (Video not displaying properly? Click here.

Yesterday The Sacramento Bee ran the third and final story in its series investigating Wildlife Services, a little-known (until now) agency under the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.

In Part 1, two-time Pulitzer Prize-winner and Bee reporter Tom Knudson focused on Wildlife Services’ controversial practices and secrecy; Part 2 looked at the environmental consequences of the agency’s activities. For Part 3, Knudson spoke with a range of stakeholders demanding changes at Wildlife Services.

“Ideas for reform include more nonlethal control, curtailing aerial gunning, a ban on traps, snares and cyanide poison and pouring more resources into controlling invasive species. Some critics are calling for an investigation of Wildlife Services’ trapping practices and perhaps eliminating the agency altogether.” [1]

Four points stood out for me: Read more