USDA Tortures Animals According To Former Employee

The USDA tortures animals according to a former employee who has spoken out against the organization. Gary Strader worked for the Wildlife Services division of the USDA until 2009 and claims that he personally witnessed colleagues senselessly torturing and abusing wildlife.

Strader specifically disagrees the USDA’s methods of killing wildlife. The USDA heads a program tasked with protecting livestock and the public from wildlife that is considered threatening. The program is meant to humanely kill wild animals that are listed as a threat.

As reported by Fox News, Strader contends that the methods he observed were far from humane. Strader has stated that one “regular practice” that particularly bothered him involved the capture and killing of coyotes.

The USDA Wildlife Services unit sets up “leg hold snare” traps around areas populated by coyotes. While Strader was a part of the team he states he was ordered to allow the department’s of dogs to attack and kill the trapped coyotes.

Strader has stated that the brutal attacks are a normal and accepted practice of the USDA Wildlife Services team. He was dismayed with the brutality and has publicly claimed that the USDA tortures animals.

Two US congressmen, John Campbell and Peter Defazio, have joined Strader in his campaign to stop the inhumane behavior. Both congressmen have called on the Agricultural Secretary t complete a thorough audit and investigation of the Wildlife Services division of the USDA.

Thomas Vilsack, Agriculture Secretary, responded to the plea in early February. Vilsack has assured the congressmen that there is an ongoing investigation into the claims as the USDA does not tolerate animal cruelty.

Congressman Dafazio does not think that is enough. He has reportedly lobbied for reduced or eliminated funding to the Wildlife Services program.

This is not the first accusation Strader has made against Wildlife Services. As reported at, Strader believes his employment was terminated as a result of an animal cruelty complaint. In the lawsuit, Strader contends that he was fired after alerting supervisors that several of his colleagues bragged about killing two mountain lions.

The judge decided, and the appellate court confirmed that Strader cannot receive damages as a “whistleblower,” as his employment was for a temporary and finite period of time.

This is the second time Strader has publicly asserted that the USDA tortures animals in an attempt to stop the brutal practice.

[Image via flickr]