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Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2012

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mr. DeFAZIO. I move to strike the requisite number of words.

The CHAIR. The gentleman from Oregon is recognized for 5 minutes.

Mr. DeFAZIO. Actually, I have experience with this. When I was a county commissioner and we were on some tough times, we said, we're not going to continue this program. We dropped our share. Heard all the same myths. Oh, my God, the deprivation. We're going to lose all our sheep; we're going to lose all our cattle. We're going to have these horrible things happen. Know what happened? Nothing. They took care of the problem themselves. A coyote comes on your property in proximity to your property, you can kill it. That's a myth. You can kill it. Sure you can. There's this limited exemption regarding endangered species which is apparently a problem in some States, not in ours. They just killed some wolves in eastern Oregon because they were concerned that they might have the caused predation.

Now, let's talk about this subsidy. It's unnecessary. It's ineffective. And it's a taxpayer subsidy. I mean, are you guys serious about cutting the deficit or not? Why give private ranching interests subsidies to do something they should do themselves?

There is no good reason to do that. Now you're going to say, oh, we're worried about aircraft. Well, no. We're only cutting in one budget, which is $13.7 million, which is the Livestock Protection Program.

Now, of course he said it's incredibly cost effective. It's been about $1 billion that's been spent on this program during its duration by the Federal Government, $1 billion. And during that time--because they're not following biology or any sensibility--the coyote population has tripled despite the $1 billion. In Colorado, they fly around in planes and shoot coyotes; it costs about 100 bucks a coyote. There are more coyotes now than there were when Animal Damage Control started these programs.

They don't understand pack behavior and what causes dispersion. They've got coyotes now in parts of the country where they haven't seen them for 100 years. It's a really effective program; it's working really well. It has nothing to do with geese or any of that. That's another part of Wildlife Services. That is not the subsidy to private ranching interests to conduct lethal predator control.

And then they do some other great things. They have these nifty little devices, they're called M-44s. It's basically a baited cyanide shot shell. Now, it has sickened some humans--hasn't killed any yet. Has killed quite a number of domestic animals. Sooner or later it's going to kill a kid. Some kid is going to be pulling on that little string saying, gee, I wonder what this does--BAM, cyanide shot shell. Now, that's really discriminate. That's really effective. That's the same program that has helped triple the population of coyotes out there over the last 80 years since these programs have existed.

So you can come up with all sorts of whoo-ha and say, oh, it has to do with Captain Sullenberger. No. It has to do with we can't shoot these things ourselves, no. I mean, just face it, if you want to subsidize ranching interests, just be honest about it and say we want to borrow $11 million in the name of the American taxpayers and give it to private ranching interests. That's it, plain and simple, yes or no.

Mr. Chairman, I yield back the balance of my time.


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