May 11, 2017
Online Messenger #351
Western Watersheds Project and our allies filed a new lawsuit in federal court today, aimed at stopping the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s wildlife killing agency from shooting, trapping, and poisoning Idaho’s wild animals.
In the suit, Western Watersheds Project, WildEarth Guardians, the Center for Biological Diversity and Predator Defense, represented by Advocates for the West and Western Watersheds Project’s senior attorney, asserted that Wildlife Services has written itself an illegally broad, statewide authorization to kill native predators like coyotes and mountain lions along with ravens and other animals without taking a hard look at the impacts of its scientifically unjustified slaughter. Contemporary scientific understanding of the role of predators in the ecosystems goes against the sickening killings the agency proposes.
In addition to the impacts these barbaric methods have on target wildlife species, they also affect non-target wildlife and beloved pets, as happened recently in Pocatello, Idaho when a “cyanide bomb” went off and poisoned a teenaged boy and killed his dog. These toxins and traps pose a public safety risk and harm imperiled species like lynx and wolverine. At the very least, Wildlife Services should complete a full Environmental Impact Statement on the cumulative effects of its activities – exactly what we’re asking the court to order in today’s complaint.
This case is part of a broader, multi-group campaign to end Wildlife Services, an agency that operates largely at the behest and to the benefit of the public lands livestock industry. Western Watersheds Project does not believe that native wildlife should be killed to make our forests and grasslands safer for non-native cattle and sheep.