Court: Feds Failed to Fully Assess Risks of Killing Thousands of Animals a Year in Idaho
BOISE, Idaho— In a powerful rebuke, a federal judge has ruled that a U.S. agency that kills thousands of animals a year in Idaho failed to adequately analyze the environmental risks of shooting, trapping and poisoning native wildlife like mountain lions, coyotes and foxes.
The court’s ruling, issued late Friday in a lawsuit brought by conservation groups, found that U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Wildlife Services program should have more carefully considered its proposed predator-killing activities’ impacts on the environment. The judge found that the agency had ignored science showing that killing predators does not decrease conflicts with livestock. This controversial killing warrants a much more thorough analysis, the ruling found.
“Wildlife Services will now have to fairly evaluate how killing thousands of coyotes in southern Idaho each year affects the environment,” said Talasi Brooks, a staff attorney for Advocates for the West who represented the groups. “The opinion is a win for wildlife and a win for management based on modern science.”
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