Animals and birds destroyed to resolve conflicts between humans and wildlife.
The US Department of Agriculture operates the Wildlife Services program as part of their Animal and Plant Health Inspection Services. The program is intended to resolve wildlife interactions that threaten public health and safety, natural resources, agriculture and property. The program is intended to provide leadership in resolving wildlife conflicts and creating balance so people and wildlife can coexist peacefully. According to a recent article published in the Duluth News Tribune, this resulted in the deaths of 2.7 million animals in 2016.
The agency killed animals that damaged or killed crops and livestock or when considered a threat or nuisance to people and their property. This included:
- 886,000 European Starlings (non-native, invasive species)
- 826,000 Red Winged Blackbirds
- 85,000 Urban Pigeons (non-native, invasive species)
- 77,000 Coyotes
- 56,840 Feral Pigs (non-native, invasive species)
- 12,000 Cormorants
- 8,825 Raccoons
- 2,938 Feral Chickens (non-native, invasive species)
- 2,734 Cardinals
- 965 Bobcats
- 415 Grey Wolves (threatened/endangered species)
Various methods were used to destroy the animals including shooting, poison and leg hold traps.