Wildlife Services

The 204 organizations representing a broad range of food producers, wildlife organizations, sportsmen, aviation, local governments and resource interests that benefit from the cooperative efforts of the Wildlife Services program sent letters to the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate showing support for WS funding and to oppose any effort to restrict or eliminate WS funding.

2016 U.S. Senate Joint Wildlife Services Letter of Support
2016 U.S. House of Representatives Joint Wildlife Services Letter of Support

Setting the Record Straight on Wildlife Services - June 2014 Letter from Kevin Shea, APHIS Administrator

Coyotes, mountain lions, wolves and bears kill thousands of lambs and calves each year. Livestock losses attributed to these predators cost ranchers and producers more than $71 million annually, according to the most recent surveys by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS). Sheep are the most frequent victims: A 1999 NASS survey recorded 273,000 sheep and lamb losses due to predators. These losses occurred despite the use of multiple management tools and techniques to safeguard livestock. Without these protection measures, livestock losses could be as much as two to three times higher.

USDA’s Wildlife Services (WS) program has the knowledge and skill, as well as the equipment, to track, capture and remove predators from locations where they are causing serious damage. But livestock producers are not the only group to benefit--so does the general public. It is estimated that wildlife causes $12.8 billion in damage a year to natural resources, public infrastructures, private property and agriculture.

For years, the American Sheep Industry Association has led the aggressive defense of the federal partner of livestock protection, by bringing together a diverse coalition of supporters in the areas of aquaculture, aviation, forestry, livestock production, range/forage management and state departments of agriculture to ensure the program’s survival. In 2014, 169 organizations signed on to the following letters supporting the efforts of the Wildlife Service's Agency.

For more information about this vital program, visit the WS Web site at: http://www.aphis.usda.gov/wps/portal/aphis/ourfocus/wildlifedamage