SAND ISLAND, WA – An international animal protection watchdog group has released a video exposing the cruelty, secrecy and misconduct of three Federal agencies in a tax -unded slaughter of thousands of native birds off the Pacific Coast – and wasting taxpayer money trying to cover it up.
"The US Army Corps of Engineers, the US Dept. of Agriculture's Wildlife Services and the US Coast Guard are working together to keep the public from witnessing what is happening to animals held in public trust, on public waters, with our money," said SHARK (SHowing Animals Respect and Kindness)
SHARK spent three weeks on the Columbia River off the coast of Washington and Oregon through early May documenting Wildlife Services, a notorious and secretive arm of the USDA that kills millions of animals a year, largely for big business, and is acting like a "private killing club," and is out of control, representing "the worst of what bad government can be."
SHARK said its First Amendment rights were suppressed – an allegation made in a federal lawsuit SHARK filed – when the USDA obtained a 500-yard "exclusionary zone" around their killing boat, which they thought would make it impossible for SHARK to document the killings. Wildlife Services didn't seek the zone a year ago when SHARK wasn't there, and had asked for a 1,000 yard zone this year.
Despite the exclusionary zone, SHARK was able to video – at great expensive – the killing from the "Bob & Nancy" (a high tech boat made possible with the support of television game show legend and animal defender Bob Barker.) But, as this new video shows, the US Coast Guard regularly harassed them about their presence in public waters. Those face-to-face encounters appear on the latest video.
SHARK is asking taxpayers to sign a petition to end the slaughter. https://www.change.org/p/stop-the-cormorant-slaughter-on-oregon-s-east-sand-island
SHARK also released a groundbreaking, unprecedented graphic video – including dramatic drone images - exposing the killings, where some birds, shot and wounded, fall into the river where they are shot a second time as their heads breach the water.
"None of the animals you will see needed to have died. The blood of thousands of innocent cormorants have been spilled into the Columbia River because the Army Corps is deflecting blame from itself for running a hydro-system that kills millions of protected fish every year, while the native, stable population of cormorants are eating a fraction of that amount, just enough to survive," said SHARK's Mike Kobliska.