Success! You asked for it and you got it! Thanks to over 73,000 of you (and a few Congressional requests) the United States Department of Agriculture’s Inspector General has confirmed that they would be undertaking an audit of Wildlife Services’ Predator Control program in 2014.
The audit will likely include goals such as:
- Determine if APHIS Wildlife Services predator control activities are justified and effective
- Determine if processes to ensure transparency over predatory activities are adequate
- Examine controls over cooperator agreements
- Assess equity of shared costs between cooperators
These topics are just what we asked for and exactly what needs investigating.
Wildlife Services quietly spends tens of millions of taxpayer dollars eliminating over 100,000 native carnivores, including hundreds of wolves, each year. This ‘hit-man for hire’ arm of the USDA gets away with operating like a private contractor while taxpayers like you and me foot the bill. There is plenty of evidence suggesting lethal control is not the most effective solution in every situation, and significant success with non-lethal coexistence, yet Wildlife Services does not have to justify what type of management they choose, or even prove they tried non-lethal management first.
This is a step in the right direction and we look forward to the results of the audit which will hopefully illuminate and lead to reform of some of Wildlife Services’ practices.
Charlotte Conley, Conservation Associate