The Trump administration last week reauthorised the use of controversial poison-filled traps to kill wild animals, such as coyotes and foxes, that prey on livestock, despite strong opposition from environmentalists. The spring-loaded devices, dubbed “cyanide bombs”, eject a capsule containing sodium cyanide. The Wildlife Services’ use of the traps, which last year killed 6,500 animals, more than 200 of which were unintended targets, was being reassessed after a teenage boy was injured and his pet dog killed by one in 2017.
On Monday, in a move lauded by industry, the government also announced changes to the way the Endangered Species Act is implemented, weakening protections for threatened species and allowing, for the first time, “economic impact” of factors such as lost revenue when deciding if a species warrants protection.(The Week, 18 Aug 2019).
The concept of sharing seems to be alien to the current regime in Washington DC. We share the planet with a host of other creatures, most of whom, if they are not already on the endangered list, soon will be. They all play their part in the ecology of the Earth, and pose very little risk, if any, to humans. We are, or should be, custodians of this corner of the universe. But no, anything that affects the ability of business to make increased profits is being scrapped. Which is curious, because I always thought conservative government was about creating a level playing field and ensuring a fair deal for all living creatures. But that was the old Republican party, which was cautiously conservative, but, as I saw it at the time, cooperative and honorable, Nixon apart. Now we have people in power for whom money is god, and who care for nothing except the magical bank balance. What empty people they must be!