A wildlife advocacy group asked President Obama to end aerial gunning of coyotes and other predators. New Mexico-based WildEarth Guardians' 39-page petition also urges Obama to banish spring-loaded cyanide devices and other predator poisoning methods from public lands, calling them dangerous and indiscriminate.
In January, the federal Environmental Protection Agency refused a similar demand from WildEarth Guardians and others to ban cyanide for predator control, calling its arguments "unpersuasive."
Ranching interests including the American Sheep Industry Association say using aircraft and poison to kill coyotes are important tools to combat $125 million in annual losses from predators to the sheep, goat and cattle industries. Peter Orwick, the group's director in Englewood, Colo., said WildEarth Guardians has a radical animal-rights agenda that threatens the livelihood of ranching families like his own.
"If they weren't able to use airplanes, they would not be in the livestock business," Orwick said. WildEarth Guardians "wants absolutely no control tools made available, from the federal perspective."
Reprinted in part from Association Press