A judge has ruled against a federal agency and how they kill predators like coyotes, in Idaho.
A collection of environmental groups, including the Western Watersheds Project and Wildearth Guardians, brought the suit against U.S. Wildlife Services. They said that the agency was killing thousands of animals a year in Idaho without adequately analyzing the environmental risks involved.
The suit said the agency was killing wolves, coyotes, otters, birds and other animals, often in response to requests from the livestock industry. Wildlife Services used traps, snares, poison and also shot from an aircraft to kill the animals. The agency killed close to 4,000 coyotes in Idaho in 2016.
U.S. District Court Judge B. Lynn Winmill said Wildlife Services failed to listen to other agencies, including the Bureau of Land Management, the Forest Service, and Idaho Fish and Game, which criticized an expanded operation to kill predators. The judge said the agency’s response to criticism was neither convincing or objective and it failed to take a “hard look” at concerns from other agencies.
The judge ruled against Wildlife Services and the case will now move to the remedy phase, where Winmill will decide the next steps to take.
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