Letters supporting an increase in funding for Wildlife Services (WS) programs in the eastern and western regions of the United States were delivered this week to the leaders of the Appropriations Committee of the Senate and the House of Representatives.
"The WS livestock protection program is vital to the economic survival of the livestock industry," said Peter Orwick, executive director of the American Sheep Industry Association (ASI). "Over 250,000 sheep and nearly 150,000 cattle are still lost to predators each year even with federal assistance joining private and state agency efforts."
ASI took the lead in gathering support for the important work done by WS. More than 50 organizations from the western United States and dozens of groups from the east signed the letters supporting increased funding to expand the programs to protect the livestock of this country. National and state sheep and cattle producer organizations were joined by industry associations, wildlife organizations and local and state governments, including the National Association of Counties, showing support for an increase in funding in the fiscal year 2011 appropriations for the livestock protection programs of WS.
The WS livestock protection program is vital to the economic survival of the livestock industry, yet collectively, cooperators are carrying more and more of the funding responsibilities as increased federal funds tend to be more non-livestock oriented.
The joint letters are useful tools for the state livestock organizations, state farm bureaus and government and wildlife associations to work with the congressional delegations of each state to expand funding of livestock protection.
Copies of the letters are available by going to www.sheepusa.org and clicking on the growling coyote.
Staff contact: Peter Orwick, ext. 33