Date: April 29th, 2012

Indiscriminate killing at taxpayer expense by the US Department of Agriculture's "Wildlife Services" branch is the focus of a front page story in today's, Sunday April 29, Sacramento Bee. This first piece in a three part series by reporter Tom Knudson is titled, "The killing agency: Wildlife Services' brutal methods leave a trail of animal death."

It opens with the story of a Wildlife Services agent accidentally trapping a majestic golden eagle in a neck snare and being told by his boss to bury the evidence.

We read more about the Wildlife Services government agency:

"Since 2000, its employees have killed nearly a million coyotes, mostly in the West. They have destroyed millions of birds, from nonnative starlings to migratory shorebirds, along with a colorful menagerie of more than 300 other species, including black bears, beavers, porcupines, river otters, mountain lions and wolves.

"And in most cases, they have officially revealed little or no detail about where the creatures were killed, or why. But a Bee investigation has found the agency's practices to be indiscriminate, at odds with science, inhumane and sometimes illegal."

We read that the agency's war on predators is waged to protect the livestock and big game industries.

The article shares details about the history of the agency, some shocking statistics, and some heart-wrenching personal stories of loss -- thousands of family pets have been accidentally killed.

The bitter irony is that while legislators argue over cost cutting measures this agency spends close to 100 million dollars per year killing animals that few citizens wish to see exterminated. When the series continues tomorrow and then on Sunday May 6 we will read about critics who have various recommendations -- including eliminating the agency. (It would be nice to see the Bureau of Land Management -- which I call the Department of Mustang Murder -- go out with it.)

You'll find the full article on line at . It is well worth reading and the rest of the series will be too.

Then please post comments below it, share it on Facebook, thank the reporter directly by sending an email to , and send a letter to the editor appreciative of the series at

Sacramento is the capital of California and letters to the editor are viewed by legislators as barometers of public opinion -- so please write.

I send thanks to Batya Bauman for making sure we saw this superb series.

Yours and the animals',
Karen Dawn

(DawnWatch is an animal advocacy media watch that looks at animal issues in the media and facilitates one-click responses to the relevant media outlets. You can learn more about it, and sign up for alerts at You may forward or reprint DawnWatch alerts only if you do so unedited -- leave DawnWatch in the title and include this parenthesized tag line.)

Please go to to check out Karen Dawn's book, "Thanking the Monkey: Rethinking the Way we Treat Animals," which in 2008 was chosen by the Washington Post as one of the "Best Books of The Year!"

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Date: Sun Apr 29 18:18:07 2012

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