The Oregon Legislature is holding a hearing tomorrow afternoon (Feb. 9) on a proposal to create special districts to raise money for killing wildlife deemed a threat to private property. Please submit written comments online to oppose this proposal - House Bill 4080.
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 known for cruel and unnecessary killing of wildlife. (See Exposed: USDA's Secret War on Wildlife.) In the fiscal 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).)
The House Committee on Environment and Natural Resources is holding a public hearing on House Bill 4080 tomorrow. The meeting starts at 1 p.m. but the hearing on this bill likely won't start before 2 p.m. You can submit written comments at this link (select the Feb. 9 hearing date and HB 4080). Comments will be accepted until 1 p.m. Thursday, February 10, but it's best to get them in before tomorrow's hearing. It's best if you use your own words, but you can say something as simple as:
"Please oppose House Bill 4080. This bill 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, the money raised would go to the federal "Wildlife Services" program, which is known for cruel and unnecessary killing of wildlife as its preferred method of dealing with human-wildlife conflicts. Oregon should focus instead on finding peaceful ways to co-exist with wildlife."
For the full text of the written testimony we submitted, on behalf of ourselves and coalition partners, click here.
Thank you for helping us advocate for animals!