ESC member group NRDC’s Andrew Wetzler just posted this on their Switchboard Blog. This audit is welcome news for endangered and threatened species. The indiscriminate methods by which USDA’s Wildlife Services uses lethal control methods puts imperiled species at unjustifiable risk. The recent Sac Bee series uncovered the lack of transparency and accountability of Wildlife Services’ actions that have put all manner of wildlife and domestic animals in jeopardy of injury or death with little to no recourse.
Responding to Congressional requests and well over a hundred thousand letters from the public, the Department of Agriculture’s Inspector General confirmed today that it plans to conduct an audit of the USDA’s controversial Wildlife Services predator control program. Every year, at a cost of tens of millions of taxpayer dollars, Wildlife Services uses traps, poisons and guns to kill over 100,000 native carnivores such as bears, wolves, coyotes, and mountain lions. The audit, which is planned for 2014, will examine the following topics:
- determine whether wildlife damage management activities were justified and effective;
- assess the controls over cooperative agreements;
- assess Wildlife Services’ information system for reliability and integrity; and
- follow-up on the implementation of prior audit recommendations, such as the accountability over hazardous materials and equipment.
This audit is a much-needed development, one that will hopefully shed light on the long-documented problems with Wildlife Services’ behavior. The first two items listed above are particularly noteworthy.
Read the entire post here: http://switchboard.nrdc.org/blogs/awetzler/breaking_usda_inspector_genera.html