The United States Wildlife Services reported killing 1,320,075 non-invasive animals and freeing/dispersing 11,673,485 non-invasive animals in 2017 according to its Program Data Report G-2017 and as reported on TreeHugger. The agency also reported killing 987,047 invasive species that would be problematic to humans within ranging environments. Animal advocates found it appalling that the agency would focus so much on destroying non-invasive creatures that are largely harmless to humans.
Some of the non-invasive species killed include –
- 23,644 beavers
- 983 bobcats
- 2,196 red-crested cardinals
- 22,924 mourning doves
- 330 great egrets
- 1,513 red foxes
- 316 mountain lions
- 35 great horned owls
- 355 gray wolves
Activists argue intentionally killing or euthanizing non-invasive animals is not only cruel and unfair, it is unnecessary. That is not the way to “resolve wildlife conflicts to allow people and wildlife to coexist” as stated on the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Services’ mission statement. It is also not the best way to “recommend and conduct wildlife damage management activities to protect many types of resources” as listed on the agency’s programs.
Invasive wildlife species are a valid threat to human survival, but is killing 1.3 million non-invasive species necessary? TreeHugger author, Melissa Breyer, didn’t think so.
“I understand the importance of dealing with invasive species. And I am sure that there are times when wildlife is a valid threat – but it really is shocking to learn that so many animals are intentionally killed each year. I realize that people’s livelihoods may depend on wildlife control, it just seems like there should be a better way for us to coexist with the creatures. What right do we have to invade their habitats … and then kill them when they present a problem for us?,” Breyer wrote in her article for TreeHugger.
You can browse the whole database on wildlife killings here: Program Data Report G – 2017.