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We Urge Oregon to Eliminate M-44 "Cyanide Bombs" Before a Child Is Killed

Photo of Canyon Mansfield holding dog Kasey's collar


September 2018 - As last year's high-profile M-44 "cyanide bomb" poisoning in Pocatello, Idaho amply demonstrated, it is only a matter of time before one of these deadly devices kills a child. We are continuing to work toward a nationwide ban, but we are also pushing ahead on a state level to encourage local jurisdictions to lead the way.

On Sept. 13, 2018 we began urging Oregon wildlife directors to address this critical public safety issue by eliminating M-44s statewide. We sent them a detailed 16-page letter signed by close to 100 victims/survivors, physicians, veterinarians, scientists and other affected parties. All who signed have learned from personal experience and/or observation that there is no safe place or way to use M-44s, as kids, pets and wild animals do not understand warning signs. The letter is exhaustively referenced, details over 60 incidents of human and pet poisonings since 1990, and shows the government's yearly under-reported statistics on dog deaths.

Judge Slams Idaho's Wildlife Slaughter in Precedent-Setting Ruling

Photo of bobcat with link to WaPo article


June 2018 - This incredibly good news simply must be shared! A federal court has ruled that Wildlife Services' barbaric wildlife-killing program in Idaho ignores science and fails to properly analyze how killing thousands of coyotes and other predators each year could impact the environment.

A judge ripped this federal agency’s justification for killing thousands of wild animals - Washington Post, June 25, 2018

We are plaintiffs in this precedent-setting case, which delivers a powerful rebuke to Wildlife Services. One of our favorite statements in the judge's decision is: “The lack of reliable data infects all the agency’s conclusions." He also found they ignored or dismissed essentially unanimous critical comments from conservationists and their own sister organizations.

The irony of Wildlife Services' methods is profound: “Indiscriminately killing native carnivores does not achieve any of Wildlife Services’ stated goals," said Bethany Cotton, wildlife program director for another plaintiff, WildEarth Guardians. "Instead, it increases the likelihood of conflict and undermines ecosystem functions.”

We were represented in this extremely important case by Advocates for the West and Western Watersheds Project. It will now proceed to the remedy phase, where the judge will consider solutions to the problems identified in the ruling.

“Wildlife Services will now have to fairly evaluate how killing thousands of coyotes in southern Idaho each year affects the environment,” said Talasi Brooks, staff attorney at Advocates for the West. “The opinion is a win for wildlife, and a win for management based on modern science.”

Our Film Exposing Wolf Sellout Wins an AFF Audience Choice Award

Photo link to Profanity Peak Pack film


June 2018 - We're pleased to announce our newest film, "The Profanity Peak Pack: Set Up and Sold Out," won an Audience Choice Honorable Mention at the Animal Film Festival and they are featuring it on their new streaming platform, ECOSTREAMZ.

We've also taken the film out on the road for a number of well-attended, big-screen showings, starting near the heart of wolf-killing country in Moscow, ID and Spokane, WA. Each screening featured a Q&A with fearless truthtellers in the wolf protection movement, including filmmaker Brooks Fahy and wolf researcher Robert Wielgus, Ph.D.

The film reveals the surprising players and policies that set up an unjust and unnecessary wolf slaughter on pristine, public forest land in Washington State. It happened regardless of science increasingly showing that killing wolves ultimately increases attacks on livestock. Learn more & watch the film

Oregon Wolf Killed by M-44, a Poison-Filled Device that Also Endangers People, Pets

Photo of wolf in Oregon by ODFW

March 2017 - Just how many animals need to die a horrible death before people realize it is insane to set poison traps in the great outdoors?

A wolf died a cruel death in Oregon on Feb. 26, 2017 because of an M-44 sodium cyanide device set on private land by federal agents from the egregiously misnamed program within the USDA called "Wildlife Services."

Feds kill wolf in Wallowa County on private land with cyanide trap - The Oregonian, Mar. 2, 2017

NE Oregon wolf poisoned by a trap set to kill coyotes - Capital Press, Mar. 2, 2017

M-44s are indiscriminate devices that also endanger pets and people. They are a taxpayer-funded outrage and must be banned. We've been working with U.S. Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-Oreg.) for decades to this end. Learn more and help us ban M-44s nationwide

Americans "EXPOSED" to War on Wildlife

Photo - film EXPOSED wins best activism award


Dec. 2015 - Our primary focus for 2015 was getting as many people as possible to watch and share our whistle-blowing documentary, "EXPOSED: USDA's Secret War on Wildlife." This award-winning short film features three former federal agents and a Congressman blowing the whistle on Wildlife Services--a barbaric, wasteful and misnamed agency within the USDA--and expose the government’s secret war on wildlife on the taxpayer's dime.

We worked hard to spread the word around the country. On June 15 we took "EXPOSED" to Washington, D.C., and held a Congressional screening and panel discussion for an unprecedented standing-room-only crowd from both sides of the aisle. We also screened it in Oregon, California, Nevada, Massachusetts, Maine, Vermont, and New York. And we screened it a total of six times in Idaho, the Ground Zero of wildlife killing in America.

"EXPOSED" received a rave review from none other than Jane Goodall. It also won Best Short at the 2015 Animal Film Festival, and Best Wildlife Activism at the 2014 Wildlife Conservation Film Festival, the premier wildlife film festival in North America.

Help Us Stop America's Wolf Slaughter

Between April 2011, when wolves lost federal endangered species protection, and April 2016, over 4,200 wolves were slaughtered in just five states. This is truly tragic, and we have been taking the government to task for their flawed and biased plan to further remove protections for the gray wolf across the nation.

We are not alone in our thinking. In 2014 an independent peer review panel rejected the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service's delisting proposal, saying it is not supported by the best available science and would be premature.

Leaked documents reveal cover-up of animal abuse investigation in USDA's Wildlife Services agency

Case reveals Wildlife Services
employee set his dogs loose on live
coyotes caught in leg traps.

"Final" report withheld from both the public and Congress

In June 2013 we learned that—despite a specific request last November by Congressmen Peter DeFazio (D-OR) and John Campbell (R-CA) for the results of the investigation into allegations of animal cruelty by a federal trapper—officials at Wildlife Services withheld their "final" report from the public and Congress.

In fact, they told the Congressmen that the report did not exist. See Tweet from Congressman Campbell

In addition, the leaked documents show that after Wildlife Services exonerated the trapper from any wrongdoing, they started asking questions internally about specific violations he had actually committed.

For several years we've been the driving force behind a nationwide push for a Congressional oversight hearings on Wildlife Services and reform of the agency. We've also been working with Tom Knudson, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist from the Sacramento Bee, on an in-depth exposé of their out-of-control "predator control" program.

Bobcat Rescued from Illegal Snare

Meet the bobcat we named Freedom and the
man who released him from the strangling
snare, Brooks Fahy, our executive director.

In the course of our work we often receive calls about animals caught in traps. In 2012 we received a call about a bobcat caught in an illegally set strangling snare on private property. We immediately rushed to the location and found an adult male bobcat caught around the torso. He had been trapped for about 12 hours.

Fortunately we got there in time to save his life by restraining him and cutting him free. We were rewarded by his immediate race for freedom, and—amazingly—we caught all this on video. Our footage will be an important tool in bringing about essential trapping reform and we will be sharing it broadly.

Maggie's Death: A Crime

Border collie Maggie pictured on her last Christmas

Read Maggie's story and watch our
video interview
with Maggie's family,
the McCurtains. You'll see the lovely
suburban neighborhood where this
deadly trap was illegally placed by
Wildlife Services. If this could happen
here, it could happen anywhere.

Family's border collie strangled to death in trap near yard

In a pristine suburb of Portland, OR, a family's border collie named Maggie was killed by a deadly trap set in a community common area just 45 feet from their back yard. This is an area where kids play. This trap could have easily injured or killed a child.

No compliant warning signs were posted, nor were instructions for removing the trap or whom to call for help. The trap's placement violated both Oregon state law and the internal directives of Wildlife Services, the government agency responsible. This crime was committed with the help of your tax dollars.

Read Maggie's story and learn how you can help the family honor Maggie and protect others from similar tragedy.

Photo of cougar heads piled up by a tree

The USDA's War on Wildlife

Your Tax Dollars at Work

The USDA Wildlife Services predator control program is the only federal program that kills native predators at the request of ranchers and state wildlife management agencies. They use indiscriminate methods that also endanger humans and pets. This program is a primary focus of our legislative work. About USDA Wildlife Services

Wildlife Patient Stories

Photo of deadly M-44 cyanide device by Brooks Fahy

From 1990-1995, Predator Defense operated a wildlife hospital and care center for injured and orphaned predator mammals.

Many native predators, like the baby bobcat orphan at left, were successfully released back into the wild.

Meet some of our patients