While it’s true that the number of predators Wildlife Services does not match the number of birds it kills, this often-repeated statement obscures the real problem: Wildlife Services’ own reporting indicates that it kills 98% of the big carnivores like wolves, foxes, bears, and mountain lions that it interacts with.
The letter asserts that Wildlife Services is “fully transparent about all of [its] work—both lethal and nonlethal.” But examples showing otherwise are endless. A recently leaked audit shows that Wildlife Services recently lost $12 million dollars—it simply can’t find it. NRDC’s report Fuzzy Math shows that “most economic analyses of predator control done by Wildlife Services …are inconsistent with economic analysis guidelines used by most federal agencies,” and often contain fundamental accounting errors. And, as they’ll tell you themselves, even Reps. DeFazio and Campbell have repeatedly been denied information they’ve requested from Wildlife Services.
The letter states that Wildlife Services is comprised of wildlife professionals who are “fully accountable to Congress and the public, comply with all laws, and are dedicated to preserving native ecosystems.” He can’t be talking about Jamie Olson, who posted pictures on Twitter (taken while on official duty) of his hunting dogs mauling a coyote caught in a leg-hold trap or Russell Files who intentionally captured his neighbor’s dog in multiple leg-hold traps, also while on duty. And he can’t be talking about the supervisors of the former Wildlife Services employees in films like NRDC’s Wild Things and Predator Defense’s Exposed, who were instructed not to report nontarget kills—in the words of one, to “shoot, shovel, and shut up.” So who is he talking about exactly?