Zack Strong is an NRDC wildlife advocate in Bozeman, Mont. This op-ed was adapted from one that appeared on The Wildlife News. Each year Wildlife Services — a little-known agency within the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) — shoots, traps and poisons millions of animals, including about 100,000 native carnivores, ostensibly to resolve conflicts between people and wildlife. The film (which continues its national tour with a screening in Bozeman today!) carefully documents the non-selective nature of many of the lethal devices and methods used by Wildlife Services, and interviews former Wildlife Services agents who explain that, inevitably, these practices kill many wild animals by mistake. For example, Wildlife Services uses spring-loaded devices called M-44s that shoot cyanide into the mouth of whatever animal happens to tug on the baited head.
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