What is the best side effect of the government shutdown? The temporary closure of the U.S.D.A.’s Wildlife Services division. Our government has long been waging this war on wildlife to quote "resolve wildlife conflicts to allow people and wildlife to coexist." Millions of animals including coyotes, mountain lions, cougars, black bears, beavers, and even birds have been killed since the year 2000--but why? To protect valuable livestock and ensure that there are plenty of animals for hunters to gun down for sport. In an editorial, the New York Times said quote "the techniques are old-fashioned - steel traps and cyanide cartridges – and the result…is a program that is wasteful, destructive to the balance of ecosystems and, ultimately, ineffective."
These traps are set all over the country, often without warning signs. Many pet dogs have been accidentally caught in traps intended for predators, resulting in the loss of limbs and even death. Why is the government endangering our country's beautiful wild animals, and even our pets? We tried to reach out to the U.S.D.A. for comment, but were unable to reach anyone due to the government shutdown.