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Shocking! US Secret Wildlife Killing Program Killed 3.2 Million Animals in 2015

Jun 28, 2016 07:17 AM EDT
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Brown Fox
Foxes are among the most hunted wild animals.
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Amid public protest against animal killing practices, the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Wildlife Services killed a total of 3.2 million animals in 2015.

The number was revealed in a report conducted by its highly selective arm.

Aside from highlighting the numbers, the report also detailed whether the animals were killed, euthanized, relocated or dispersed. It also described whether the acts were intentional or unintentional.

Figures show that red-winged blackbirds and brown-headed cowbirds at the top of the list, with 708,486 and 475,905 kills respectively.

The group also slaughtered 69,905 coyotes, 385 gray wolves, 480 black bears, 284 mountain lions, 731 bobcats, 492 river otters, 3,437 foxes, two bald eagles and 21,559 beavers. Oone critically endangered Mexican wolf was also killed.

Former Wildlife Services employees estimate that these numbers are likely hugely short of the actual numbers.

According to the Center for Biodiversity, the century-old Wildlife Services was created in 1915 to eliminate invasive species that weaken the livestock and agricultural sector. But for the past years, the agency had been highly criticized because it targets even innocent animals, including pets.

It has reportedly killed 32 million native animals since 1996.

The killings destroy the balance of nature as many of the species they kill are at the top of the food chain, making them beneficial to the health of ecosystem.

"It is a tragedy that our government continues to needlessly slaughter America's wildlife year to year," said Kelly Nokes, carnivore campaign lead for WildEarth Guardians. "Wildlife Services' cruel killing of native animals is based on disproven anti-wildlife bias and undermines the critical natural systems upon which we all depend."

The program uses inhumane ways to kill; some of which include the use of cruel tools, including trapping, poisoning and shooting from airplanes.

"There's simply no scientific basis for continuing to shoot, poison and strangle millions of animals every year-a cruel practice that not only fails to effectively manage targeted wildlife but poses an ongoing threat to other animals, including pets," Michael Robinson of the Center for Biological Diversity told EcoWatch.

 

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