Tell Doña Ana County Commissioners: It’s time to stop killing our wildlife
Doña Ana County’s contract with Wildlife Services is up for renewal. It will be voted on at tomorrow’s County Commission meeting (7/14).
Tell your Commissioner it’s time for a change.
U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Wildlife Services kills millions of animals each year by aerial gunning, shooting, poisoning, trapping, and snaring. Here in Doña Ana County, the targets are mainly skunks, rock squirrels, coyotes, pigeons and an occasional beaver and mountain lion, at a cost to taxpayers of more than $90,000 annually.
Please take a moment to contact the county commissioners and urge them to tear up the current contract and start over. Here are some suggestions for what to say:
Wildlife Services has not complied with the reporting requirements in the current contract. We have no way of knowing if they are trying to resolve wildlife conflicts with nonlethal methods, as required by the contract.
Grant County (NM) recently revised its contract to prohibit the use of poisons on public lands (M-44 sodium cyanide bombs, Compound 1080, and den fumigants). Doña Ana County should do the same.
Traps and poisons are cruel and indiscriminate: Between 2010 - 2017, Wildlife Services M44s killed at least 338 non-target animals in New Mexico.
More and more, counties, farmers, and ranchers in the western U.S. are turning to non-lethal methods to prevent livestock loss from depredation.
Instead of paying Wildlife Services to kill animals in an endless application of temporary band-aid solutions, the County could be using that money to help residents fix underlying problems that allow conflicts with wildlife to keep recurring.
Money should also be spent on broad public education efforts, such as brochures, public service announcements, workshops, to help residents to prevent problems in the first place—something Wildlife Services never does.
The county should be promoting coexistence with wildlife, not endless killing.
Please contact your county commissioner before tomorrow (7/14), when the commission will consider this matter. Find your commissioner here.
Thank you for speaking up for wildlife!