So much for fiscal responsibility: federal lawmakers push to increase budget of widlife-killing agency

Wildlife Services coyote control (USDA)

We've written a lot about Wildlife Services, a little know agency within the federal Department of Agriculture that spends tens of millions of dollars a year killing wildlife such as mountain lions, bears, wolves, and coyotes in the name of "livestock protection" at taxpayer expense.  Their favored methods include gunning down animals from helicopters, trapping, and poisons.

These practices are often unnecessary, environmentally destructive, and poorly studied.  So back when folks were concerned about cutting federal spending (remember those days?) I hoped that Wildlife Services would have their money trimmed or redirected to more socially useful activities, such as dealing with invasive species.  There was even a bi-partisan amendment introduced to the Department of Agriculture appropriations bill that would have cut the agency's budget.  Alas, that bill went down to defeat.

But I am, quite frankly, flabbergasted that now it appears the livestock industry is pushing for an increase to Wildlife Service's budget, an increase they hope will be spent to subsidize the killing of even more coyotes, wolves, and mountain lioImage removed.

ns, across the American landscape.  The sad thing is, it looks like they may get it, to the tune of $4 million dollars.

I can think of few worse places to be spending federal dollars.  But that's some people in Congress for you these days: they want to cut money to protect your health and safety and spend it to subsidize the killing of wildlife.