A little-known agency in the Department of Agriculture is an out-of-control destroyer of wildlife, reports investigative journalist Tom Knudson in a lengthy series of articles in the Sacramento Bee. The agency, which calls itself the Wildlife Service, kills hundreds of thousands of animals each year. Thousands of non-target animals, ranging from endangered species to people’s pets, are killed by mistake, and in at least some cases the agency’s response is to shoot, shovel, and shut up.
The sad fact is that this has been going on for many years. Back in 1995, the Antiplanner wrote an in-depth audit of this agency, which was then known as “Animal Damage Control.” Prior to about 1985, this program was part of the Fish & Wildlife Service, but Congress moved it to Agriculture under the not-entirely wrong notion that FWS didn’t really have its heart in indiscriminately killing wildlife.
The so-called Wildlife Service provides an excellent example of why the left should re-examine its notion that “government is good.” This program was created a century ago, yet there was little reason then and less now for the federal government to be involved in wildlife control. At least a few species have come close to extinction thanks to this program, and it should be shut down immediately. Congratulations to Knudson and the Bee for publishing these articles.