1999 Scorecard Vote
Each year--as a service to livestock ranchers--hunters and trappers employed by the Department of Agriculture's Wildlife Services program kill more than 100,000 coyotes, black bears, mountain lions, and other predators, often on public lands. Under the practice of "preventative predator control," Wildlife Services personnel will even kill animals before livestock damage is reported, sometimes before livestock have moved onto a parcel of public land. Despite repeated congressional directives to favor non-lethal alternatives, the program continues to use an array of steel traps, poisons, and firearms at consistent or increasing levels, at times killing threatened and endangered species.
During consideration of the Fiscal Year 2000 Agriculture appropriations bill, Representatives Peter DeFazio (D-OR) and Charles Bass (R-NH) offered an amendment to cut $7 million from the $28 million Wildlife Services operations budget. This cut would still have allowed other programs in this budget to go forward, including programs to prevent bird strikes at airports and to protect endangered species; however, the amendment stipulated that no funds be used to kill predators for livestock protection. On June 8, 1999, the House defeated the amendment 193–230. YES is the pro-environment vote.