Mendocino County officials agreed this week to suspend the renewal of the county's 2016 contract with Wildlife Services after NRDC, the Animal Legal Defense Fund, Center for Biological Diversity, Animal Welfare Institute, and Project Coyote filed a lawsuit against the county in November for violating the California Environmental Quality Act ("CEQA").
To recap, under CEQA, the Mendocino County Board of Supervisors was required to examine the environmental impacts of renewing its contract with Wildlife Services, which would mean the inhumane killing of hundreds more coyotes, bears, bobcats, foxes over the next year. It was also required to examine alternatives to this senseless killing.
But it didn't, which is why we filed suit.
As a result, Mendocino County has agreed to conduct an environmental review of the contract and consider the use of nonlethal predator-control methods, such as fencing, increased human presence around livestock, and guard animals. Our groups will be presenting to the Board of Supervisors regarding the benefits of these methods in May.
But our hope is that Mendocino will ultimately follow the lead of California's Marin County and cancel its contract with Wildlife Services in favor of a nonlethal predator management program. Indeed, Marin's nonlethal predator control program has been wildly successful since its implementation 15 years ago, decreasing predation by 62 percent at one-third the cost.
We've said it once and we'll say it again: Wildlife Services' predator control program is inhumane, costly, ineffective, and irresponsible, and we're committed to doing everything we can to fix it...even if it means one county at a time!