Agency strong-arms commission into approving lethal control

August 13, 2019

The saga of Doña Ana County, New Mexico, and its attempts to mandate nonlethal wildlife control took a depressing, if not unexpected, turn today as the Doña Ana County Commission capitulated to federal wildlife-killing agency Wildlife Services and its lethal activities.

In April, the commission voted to ban the use of certain county funds for lethal control of predators and rodents. Under pressure from Wildlife Services, the commission reversed itself in July, approving a contract with Wildlife Services that permitted lethal control methods but also included a requirement that Wildlife Services try nonlethal ways of resolving wildlife conflicts at least twice before killing the target animal. Even this was too much for Wildlife Services, which refused to sign the contract and threatened to withhold federal funding, strong-arming the commission into signing another contract that renders the requirement to use nonlethal methods meaningless.

“It’s bad for wildlife, it’s bad for public safety, and in the long-term, it’s probably bad for those who rely on Wildlife Services,” said Guardians’ Chris Smith. “Lethal control–except in cases of imminent harm to public safety–is a band-aid, not a real solution to what is an ongoing issue.”

Read the press release.

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