Wildlife Services, the Department of Agriculture agency that controls and kills wildlife that create problems, suffered a major setback earlier this year when a newspaper series showed a pattern of waste and damage to ecosystems.
Now the agency that Idaho calls on to kill wolves and even cougars along the Boise River Greenbelt, faces new criticism. A story by Pulitzer-Prize-winning reporter Tom Knudsen of the Sacramento Bee has photos of an agent allowing his dog to savagely attack a coyote in a trap and other photos of animals in leghold traps.
Like my earlier stories this year of a trapper who posted a picture of himself posing with a live wolf in a trap the story and its pictures will make people who care about animals angry. It also brings new scrutiny to an agency that under the best of circumstances, faces challenges defending its mission.