Petition Closed

Nearly 80 years to the day have passed since Congress gave the Secretary of Agriculture broad authority to investigate and control certain predatory or wild animals and so-called nuisance mammal and bird species by passing the Animal Damage Control Act of 1931. Since that time, the federal government has poisoned, trapped, and shot predators and other wildlife, often on public lands, for the benefit of private livestock producers.

In recent years, the government has turned its sights on birds, beavers, deer and other wildlife. Recent news highlighted the deaths of thousands of starlings who fell from the sky—poisoned by our government.While the research arm of the government program that conducts the killing—known as Wildlife Services—spends tax dollars developing non-lethal methods of control, its agents in the field promote killing as the only solution. With your help, the 80th anniversary will represent a turning point in one of the longest and saddest periods in the history of the treatment of American wildlife.

Please sign the petition, and also fill out and submit the form on our website, to send a brief, polite message to U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack urging him to support reform of this infamous program.


Letter to
Secretary of Agriculture, USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack
As the 80th anniversary of passage of the Animal Damage Control Act of 1931 approaches, please reform the Wildlife Services program to end its reliance on lethal methods.

Since passage of the Animal Damage Control Act of 1931, the federal government has been in the business of poisoning, trapping, shooting and asphyxiating wildlife, and millions upon millions of wild animals have fallen victim to this federal killing program. Most recently, thousands of starlings fell from the sky -- they were poisoned by Wildlife Services. Their crime? Eating unprotected cattle feed.

I am aware that Wildlife Services does use some non-lethal techniques, and conducts research in others. But its field agents continue to rely on lethal methods. Please use my tax dollars on non-lethal methods of control, starting with the replacement of the predator poisons Compound 1080 and sodium cyanide with effective, long-lasting, and humane techniques, such as the use of herders and shepherds, guarding animals, and predator fencing.

Thank you for your consideration.