Stopping Wildlife Services from Killing Wolves in Oregon
Wildlife Services is a stand-alone federal extermination program under the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) that kills roughly 4 million animals per year, including wolves, bears, otters, foxes, coyotes, and birds—with almost no oversight or accountability.
Wildlife Services claims that killing wolves reduces wolf-caused losses of livestock, yet recent peer-reviewed research directly contradicts this conclusion, finding that killing wolves actually leads to an increase in wolf-livestock conflicts. This same agency accidentally killed an important member of Oregon’s recovering wolf population with an M-44 cyanide bomb it set in known wolf territory.
We sued USDA on behalf of five partner organizations, arguing Wildlife Services failed to explain why killing wolves on behalf of livestock interests should replace common-sense, proactive and nonlethal alternatives such as those reflected in the Oregon Gray Wolf Management Plan.
Sadly, we lost this case in federal district court, but we appealed the decision to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals and look forward to presenting our case in the near future.