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375,000 Native Animals Killed by Federal Program in 2023

Center for Biological Diversity: “The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Wildlife Services reported killing 375,045 native animals in 2023, according to recent data released by the program. The federal wildlife-killing program targets wolves, coyotes, cougars, birds and other wild animals, primarily to benefit the agriculture industry in states like Texas, Colorado and Idaho. According to the report, the multimillion-dollar program last year intentionally killed 305 gray wolves, 68,562 coyotes, 430 black bears, 235 mountain lions, 469 bobcats, 2,122 red and gray foxes and 24,603 beavers. These figures almost certainly understate the actual number of animals killed, as program insiders have long lamented that Wildlife Services kills many more animals than it reports. “I’m horrified by both the sheer number of animals killed by this federal agency and the immense suffering involved,” said Collette Adkins, carnivore conservation director at the Center for Biological Diversity. “It’s hard to even imagine the thousands of coyotes, beavers and other animals who die agonizing deaths from snares, traps or poisons.” The reported number of native animals killed in 2023 was similar to the previous three years. These recent numbers reflect a steep decline compared to 2019, when approximately 1.3 million native animals were killed. The red-winged blackbird is an example of a species with fewer individuals intentionally killed by Wildlife Services, with 14,314 killed in 2023 compared to 364,734 in 2019.”

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