• Living Wild in PG: Expert Opinion

    By Marvin Sheffield, DVM

    Home owners would protest and be suitably outraged if people unknown to them expected them to pay part of the fee their exterminators charged them for ridding their homes of termites, carpenter ants, hornets, bats,  mold, or their lawns from mole occupancy. However millions of Americans are unwittingly paying without ANY benefits, for an ill conceived agency, a little known Division of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, originally known as Animal Damage Control.  This Agency was developed in response to the failing Bureau of Biological Survey (whose name falsified the qualifications of its employees), and eventually Congress decided to eliminate the BBS, unless it could justify its existence, which it could not.

    Animal Damage Control its successor, started in essence as the private  lackeys to the open range Sheep and Cattlemen’s Lobbies, who when they were not at each other’s throats, were waging war on American Wolves, Mountain Lions, and Bears. Using aircraft, traps and poisons galore, they virtually exterminated the indigenous gray wolves from the West initially; and eventually through most of the Midwest and Eastern states as well. When the wolves were eradicated, they focused their energies on coyotes, which now had expanded their range in the absence of wolves.  Coyotes also were accidentally released into the Eastern States, when Eastern fox hunters who wanted to revive their “sport”, received shipments of coyote pups instead, and were unaware of the differences.

    Besides coyotes the chief target of Animal Damage Control, Mountain Lions, Bobcats,   Badgers, Western Grey foxes, raccoons, hawks, owls and even Bald and Golden eagles were shot or died as a result of ingesting poisoned baits set out indiscriminately, to placate the ranching groups.   In 1997 A.D.C changed its name to “Animal Services” in order to improve its image to the American Public, who now began to protest the wanton killing of wildlife.

    I had locked horns with ADC, when engaged in Livestock practice in Arkansas and Texas; and they asked me to falsify my necropsy reports on livestock that died of bacterial or viral diseases. These “good old Boys” wanted me to change my necropsy findings to “Wolf or coyote predation” so that the livestock owner could then fraudulently collect reparations from Uncle Sam for their “losses” on Public Lands. I turned then down firmly and flatly.

    Animal Services is an unnecessary and wasteful agency that still adheres to its unsound biological practices of animal predator extermination. Removing a raccoon, or ‘possum from an attic or basement, does not justify your tax dollars being squandered and diverted to  this agency.

    -Marvin J. Sheffield, DVM

    posted to Cedar Street Times on April 16, 2009

    Topics: Current Edition, Features


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