The Oregon Legislature is considering a proposal to raise more money for killing wildlife deemed a threat to private property. Please contact your legislators and ask them to oppose this bill.
House Bill 4080 would allow so-called "predator damage control districts" to collect money from property owners for spending on "predator control." Targeted animals could include "bears, gray wolves, red foxes, gray foxes, coyotes, cougars, bobcats, beavers, fishers, martens, minks, muskrats, otters, raccoons, feral swine * * * rabbits, rodents and birds that are or may be destructive to agricultural crops, products and activities.”
In practice, the money would go to "Wildlife Services," a federal program with a terrible reputation for cruel and unnecessary killing of wildlife. (See Exposed: USDA's Secret War on Wildlife.) In the year ending June 30, 2020, Wildlife Services killed 201,606 animals in Oregon, including 210 bears, 2,147 coyotes and 92 mountain lions, using methods including neck and leg snares, cages and foothold traps, aerial gunning and paid hunters.
Legislators should not be approving programs to give Wildlife Services even more money to do even more killing, especially since the science increasingly shows all that killing doesn’t work to reduce problems caused by wildlife and may even make them worse. (E.g., Killing Coyotes Is Not As Effective As Once Thought, Researchers Say, National Public Radio (2019).)
Please contact your legislators - by phone or email - and ask them to oppose House Bill 4080. Be sure to let them know you are a "constituent," meaning you live in the area they represent. If you don't know who your legislators are, go here to find out and to get their contact information. (Click on the tabs for "Senate" and "House" - everyone has one state senator and one state representative; ignore the "Congress" tab for this issue.) It's best if you use your own words, but you can say something as simple as:
"As one of your constituents, I urge you to oppose House Bill 4080. House Bill 4080 would allow special government districts to raise money for killing wildlife only because the animals might damage private property. House Bill 4080 would not require recipients of the money to use or even consider using alternatives that don't require killing the animals. Moreover, I understand the money would go to the federal "Wildlife Services" program, which has a terrible reputation for cruel and unnecessary killing of wildlife as its preferred way of dealing with human-wildlife conflicts. Oregon should focus instead on finding peaceful ways to co-exist with wildlife."
Thank you for helping us advocate for animals!