Friday, 14 December 2012

US Congress calls for investigation of US wildlife agency cruelty

USDA does not condone animal cruelty and holds all employees responsible for representing its standards. WS program personnel are expected to use approved and humane methods to euthanize captured or restrained animals whenever practicable, and in accordance with American Veterinary Medical Association guidelines. USDA's review of the situation is currently ongoing. As USDA officials continue to review the situation, they will also take this opportunity to reaffirm to employees their obligations to uphold professional standards as well as their responsibilities to the American public. We assure you that USDA takes this matter seriously and will complete a thorough review. 

Staff boasting about their cruel exploits
December 2012. The secretive United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) ‘Wildlife Services' department has run into very hot water again. The Sacramento Bee, the highly respected newspaper, has uncovered a series of abuses by the USDA Wildlife Services involving cruelty to animals by ‘Wildlife Service' staff, who then proceeded to boast about their deeds on social media.

The case gained prominence when photos revealed that a member of the Wildlife Services, Jamie Ohlson, posted images of a coyote that was caught in a leg trap being attacked and killed by his dogs. Ohlson also posted images of himself posing with the tattered remains of the coyote. Aside from the abuse and suffering heaped on the poor coyote, to boast of this cruelty via social networking implies that Mr Ohlson is really not the right person to be doing this work.

Ohlson is not alone though. In a very similar case the Washington Post revealed that a U.S. Forest Service Employee Josh Bransford posed with a wolf that he had just shot. The wolf in question was actually caught in a leg trap, and Bransford shot the immobilized wolf before posing with the dead animal with a big grin on his face. Why why why would anyone do that?

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