Fox News just posted a piece on a story that has been brewing for months about a USDA Wildlife Services employee who let his dogs loose on coyotes trapped in leg-hold traps. And then was stupid enough (I do not use this word lightly) to post evidence of dogs attacking and ripping apart the coyotes on his personal website.
Fox is an interesting source for this story but I suspect it took pressure from a Republican lawmaker to bring this story to Fox’s attention now. They should understand that folks like Oregon Congressman Peter DeFazio have been fighting this program for 25 years. And the conservation community—including me—has been at them nearly as long in partnership with taxpayer groups and other non-traditional allies.
Perhaps now this will get the attention it deserves. I will not hold my breath, but I can hope. And the responding message here should not only be one about firing this employee but firing the program as well. It simply needs to go. But Wildlife Services (formerly Animal Damage Control) like other fiscally and environmentally irresponsible federal sacred cows like the Taylor Grazing and the 1872 Mining acts have consistently had friends in high places. We need these changes now.