Challenging USDA Redaction of Geese Culling Contract

Animal Legal Defense Fund filed a lawsuit against the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) over the agency’s critical redactions in a contract between the USDA’s Wildlife Services program and a Colorado slaughterhouse.

Updated

November 23, 2020

Work Type

Litigation

Status

Active

Next Step

USDA to Answer Complaint

On November 23, 2020, the Animal Legal Defense Fund filed a lawsuit against the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) over the agency’s critical redactions in a contract between the USDA’s Wildlife Services program and a Colorado slaughterhouse, outlining plans for slaughtering geese rounded up in parks across Denver. The geese were to be killed as part of a highly controversial program to reduce the birds’ population.

The Animal Legal Defense Fund originally filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request with USDA Wildlife Services in November 2019, seeking to learn the number of geese the City of Denver planned to cull. The USDA’s response to that request included the slaughterhouse contract, however, the number of birds expected to be killed and price paid per slaughtered bird were redacted. The Animal Legal Defense Fund filed an appeal in March 2020 seeking the redacted information, but the USDA has not responded, prompting the lawsuit.

The City of Denver has rounded up and slaughtered geese over the last two years with the intent to permanently reduce the birds’ population in city parks. In 2019 alone, more than 1,600 geese were rounded up and killed from Washington, Garfield, Sloan’s Lake and City parks.

Who is being sued, why, and under what law? United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) for the agency’s failure to respond to an appeal for the removal of critical redactions in a contract between federal agency Wildlife Services and R&C Wild Game and Custom Processing outlining plans for culling geese in Denver, Colorado.

What court is the lawsuit filed in? U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado

Why this case is important: Native wildlife across the United States, including geese in city parks, are being slaughtered by a rogue federal killing agency known as Wildlife Services — a program of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Wildlife Services’ rampant killing comes at a cost to taxpayers of more than 100 million dollars per year, mostly on public lands. That is why the Animal Legal Defense Fund, together with a coalition of environmental and wildlife organizations, is working hard to eliminate Wildlife Services and its relentless hold over wildlife management. Without Wildlife Services adhering to FOIA and being transparent about the number of animals it intends to slaughter, society will not know the full scale of wildlife suffering it supports with taxpayer dollars.

Demand Transparency from Wildlife Services

For years, concerned residents have been outraged by the killing of Canada geese rounded up in parks across Denver. As a taxpayer, you have the right to know how Wildlife Services uses your dollars and whether its methods are humane and science-based.

TAKE ACTION

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