May 9, 2016
After an intense, exhaustive three-week campaign fighting against the government slaughter of cormorants on the Columbia River, today SHARK is releasing a groundbreaking and unprecedented video exposing the killing by the notorious federal agency, Wildlife Services. SHARK will be releasing many more videos exposing the fraud and waste of this pointless massacre.
SHARK has set up a petition against this slaughter. In two weeks, we will send it to every US senator and ask them to shut the killing down. Please pass the petition around and let’s show our elected officials that this horror will not be tolerated.
A cormorant falling to her death after being shot by the killers in the Wildlife Services boat
Wildlife Services, an arm of the US Department of Agriculture (USDA), is a highly secretive government agency that slaughters millions of wild animals annually across our country. Wildlife Services was so afraid we would see them killing that, when we first arrived on our boat, the Bob & Nancy (named after animal protection heroes Bob Barker and Nancy Burnet) that they would not shoot while we were on the water. How did they react to our presence? Both the USDA and the US Army Corps of Engineers (who is responsible for the cormorant slaughter) went to the Coast Guard and demanded a 1,000 yard (more than a half-mile) exclusionary zone that had nothing to do with safety but was specifically meant to suppress our First Amendment rights.
In the end, the Coast Guard gave the Wildlife Services boat a 500 yard exclusionary zone, which is still an outrageously large area. SHARK filed a federal lawsuit against the Coast Guard for this clear violation of our constitutional rights, and that lawsuit is pending.
The killers from Wildlife Services
Cormorants are being blamed for killing protected salmon while the truth is that the Army Corps operates a dozen hydro-power systems on the Columbia River that are killing millions of these protected fish every year. The blood of thousands of innocent cormorants is being spilled because the Army Corp is deflecting blame from itself. This is bad government at its worst.
Even with all these federal agencies conspiring to keep the public from seeing the slaughter, we were able to get the documentation needed to expose this insanity to the world. While the authorities focused on blocking the Bob & Nancy, we quietly flew in two more investigators to use our longest-range cameras from land.
This move effectively put the killers in a vise. Now we could film their killing from multiple vantage points. We were able to amass a very significant evidence file over a few weeks. Now Wildlife Services is exposed to the world.
This campaign has drained tens of thousands of dollars from our budget, and the public should not be put through such expense and difficulties just to see what our government is doing to wild animals on our public waters.
We want to thank Chris DeRose, from Last Chance for Animals, and longtime activist Jonathan Paul who joined us on the Bob & Nancy for part of the time we were on the water. We also want to thank actor Alexandra Paul for making a public statement about the issue. And of course we want to thank Bob Barker and Nancy Burnet, without whom we would not have our boat and not have been able to document the cruel slaughter.
It is unfortunate that although we put out a call for people and boats to more effectively deal with this issue, only the aforementioned handful of people responded.
SHARK fights hard to save animals, but now we need your help if we are to continue our work. We have a very long and still growing list of issues to deal with, both our and those of other groups who can use our special equipment and set of skills. If this killing continues into the fall, we’d like to return in a position to better document, but that will require money for some refitting.
There are so many millions of dollars in the animal protection movement, we wonder why there is so little that goes to front-line organizations such as SHARK, who are responsible for getting the ball rolling on so many campaigns.
Please donate to help this campaign HERE
A cormorant, just like the ones who were killed by Wildlife Services. Picture from the US Fish and Wildlife Service