2000 Scorecard Vote
The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Wildlife Services program dedicates millions of federal dollars annually to its highly controversial livestock protection program, which kills approximately 100,000 coyotes, black bears, mountain lions, and other predators each year. Despite advances in the development of non-lethal alternatives for predator control, and despite directives from Congress to favor such non-lethal methods, Wildlife Services trappers routinely kill any predator within the vicinity of livestock, often before any attack has occurred. Although Wildlife Services' own researchers have determined that targeting problem animals is a more effective strategy for reducing livestock losses, the program continues to use methods that claim large numbers of non-target animals, including some endangered and threatened species.
During consideration of the Fiscal Year 2001 Agriculture appropriations bill, Representatives Peter DeFazio (D-OR), Charles Bass (R-NH), and Connie Morella (R-MD) introduced an amendment that, without reducing any funding for Wildlife Services operations, would have prevented any federal expenditure on lethal predator control. If successful, the amendment would have maintained or increased the funding levels for more beneficial Wildlife Services activities such as programs to protect endangered species.
On July 11, 2000, the House rejected the amendment by a 190–228 vote (House roll call vote 382). YES is the pro-environment vote. At the time this publication went to press, the Agriculture appropriations bill had passed the House and Senate and the Agriculture conference report had passed the House and Senate.