Comes After Revelations Agency Beheading Pups with Shovels
DC – Today, some of the
nation’s leading conservation and animal welfare organizations called on the
federal government to stop killing coyotes and foxes at their den sites. The
coalition urged a branch of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, called Wildlife
Services, to cease all “denning” activities – the practice of killing pups at
or in their dens – after the groups learned the agency was using shovels to
behead young coyote pups or breaking the pups’ necks. Wildlife Services kills
tens of thousands of animals each year for livestock growers, farmers interests.
“Wildlife Services is committing crimes against
animals that make Michael Vick’s Bad Newz Kennels look like doggy day care,”
said Brian Vincent, Communications Director for the Oregon-based Big Wildlife.
“The agency must end these barbaric, grisly practices and hold their employees
accountable,” he added.
The organizations also urged Wildlife Services to stop
burying burning cartridges – that contain a deadly mixture of sodium nitrate
and charcoal – in dens. Intended to asphyxiate animals, the highly combustible
material is likely burning pups alive.
“Wildlife Services creates miniature gas chambers all
over Western lands to kill wildlife. This is abhorrent and unacceptable.
Killing innocent pups must stop,” said Vincent.
The groups pressed Wildlife Services to abandon its
historically aggressive lethal control campaign against coyotes. Instead, the
coalition said, the agency should employ non-lethal methods such as guard
animals, fences, and pens to prevent conflicts with wildlife. It also urged the
Attorneys General in several states where Wildlife Services kills coyote pups
to investigate whether cruelty to animals laws have been violated. Big Wildlife
had sent such a request to Oklahoma Attorney General Drew Edmondson but never
received a response.
calling for the denning ban: Big Wildlife * People for the Ethical Treatment of
Animals (PETA) * the Humane Society of the United States * Center for
Biological Diversity * Animal Protection Institute * Sierra Club * Animal
Welfare Institute * In Defense of Animals * Forest Guardians * Footloose
Montana * Mountain Cats Trust * Western Wildlife Conservancy * Animal
Protection of New Mexico * Black Hills Mountain Lion Foundation * Six Shooters
of Colorado * Animal Defense League of Arizona *
Click here to view coalition letter to
To learn more about Wildlife Services’ activities and
livestock losses go to AGRO.
See the number of coyotes and other
wildlife killed in 2006