Animal Genocide

‘Lethal Control’ Trades Off Species

Over the next four years, the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers will shoot 16,000 double-crested cormorants nesting near the Columbia River, in Oregon, at a cost of $1.5 million a year and eliminate almost 100 sea lions because both feed on endangered salmon and steelhead trout. “If people knew how many animals are killed at taxpayer expense, they’d be horrified,” says Camilla Fox, executive director of Project Coyote, a San Francisco Bay Area nonprofit.

Termed “lethal control”, there’s a growing trend to kill one species to protect another, and not all methods used are humane. In 2012, Dennis Orthmeyer, acting director of California’s Wildlife Services, said, “We pride ourselves on our ability to get it done without many people knowing about it.”

Climate change, reduced habitat and food supplies, and the introduction of non-native species are the result of human interference. “With society’s growing footprint, lethal control can only increase,” observes Michael Scott, a University of Idaho ecologist.

A plan to poison 4,000 ravens will protect greater sage grouse. More mountain lions will be killed to save bighorn sheep. The human rampage goes on, and concerned citizens are advised to urge lawmakers to end lethal control and protect wildlife habitat sustainably.

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