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The Government Agency in Charge of Killing Wild Animals Is Facing Backlash

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A young gray fox takes cover on the side of the road during 108-degree heat as the Carr fire rages on in California on July 27th, 2018. Wildlife Services killed 1,784 gray foxes that same year.

Wildlife Services is a federal agency that shoots, traps, and poisons wild animals en masse at the behest of state governments, agricultural interests, and more. With a purported mission to reduce human-wildlife conflict and mitigate economic damage caused by wildlife, it kills many thousands of critters that come between ranchers or farmers and their profits, and it has done so for more than a century. Earlier this month, it released up-to-date data about its nationwide operations in 2018 and, as usual, the numbers were eye-popping.

According to the agency, which is housed under the United States Department of Agriculture, its trappers and field operatives killed more than 1.5 million native animals last year. The list of the dead includes roughly 515,000 red-winged black birds, 68,000 coyotes, 22,500 beavers, 19,900 mourning doves, 17,000 black-tailed prairie dogs, 10,000 double-crested cormorants, 2,000 mallard ducks, 1,784 gray foxes, 1,300 red-tailed hawks, 1,000 bobcats, hundreds of owls, 357 wolves, 350 black bears, one grizzly bear, and many, many more.

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Thanks !

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