Target: Chairman Rex Bohn, Board of Supervisors, Humboldt County
Goal: Prevent brutal, unnecessary, and destructive slaughter of hundreds of natural predators every year
Counties in California continue to honor contracts with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Wildlife Services, which indiscriminately kills tens of thousands of California’s native wild animals every year. Animals such as coyotes, bears, foxes, and mountain lions suffer painful, needless deaths at the hands of the Department of Agriculture. These Californian counties have the power to take a stand against these inhumane killings by terminating their contracts with the Department of Agriculture. Animal conservation groups have been working to persuade Humboldt County to reconsider its contract, requesting it to conduct an appropriate environmental review and implement proper protection before hiring Wildlife Services.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Wildlife Services has spent a billion taxpayer dollars on killing a million coyotes across the nation since 2000. This excessive and unnecessary killing continues regardless of extensive studies showing that destruction of native predators, such as coyotes, inevitably leads to widespread ecological devastation. In the process, Wildlife Services has also killed over 50,000 animals that were not targets, including endangered condors and bald eagles.
In order to terminate the animals, Wildlife Services utilizes steel-jaw leghold traps, body-crushing traps, and wire snares. These devices trap animals, maiming their bodies while they are still alive, sometimes for days at a time. These traps have also injured hikers as well as family pets in the past. They are not safe to species who are not targeted for murder nor are they safely monitored. The agency also uses methods such as poisoning, strangling, and shooting animals to exterminate them. This is a disgusting display of slaughter being supported by tax dollars from residents who are likely unaware of the practices of Wildlife Services. There are humane and up-to-date methods of predator control that don’t involve cruelly endangering animals, pets, and humans at the expense of taxpayers.
In a similar case last year, Sonoma County’s Board of Supervisors chose not to renew their contract with Wildlife Services upon receiving a letter from the Animal Legal Defense Fund. Sonoma County is now conducing a review of wildlife procedures and policies. Sing this petition to urge Humboldt County to follow Sonoma in leading by example, showing that Wildlife Services’s merciless practices should not be accepted.
Dear Chairman Bohn,
As you are aware, Wildlife Services spends thousands of taxpayer dollars yearly to kill hundreds of native predators and other animals. Without state oversight or any environmental investigation or analysis, Humboldt County and Wildlife Services entered into a contract whereby Wildlife Services receives a substantial payment of tax dollars in exchange for murdering these animals.
Humboldt County retains minimal oversight over Wildlife Services’s activities and merely receives periodic reports disclosing the total number of animals destroyed by the agency. These reports are also bereft of evaluation regarding the environmental impact of this killing. Not only are these animals destroyed needlessly as they undoubtedly serve a purpose in our ecological system, but they are painfully and inhumanly trapped and killed. Please reconsider your contract with Wildlife Services for the sake of not only native wildlife in the region, but the ecological system as a whole.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Accipiter via Wikimedia Commons