Lawsuit seeks reassessment of predator control program

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Environmental groups have filed a lawsuit demanding federal wildlife officials reassess their practice of killing coyotes, bobcats, fox and other animals in Northern California.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture's wildlife damage management program is aimed at protecting livestock and property. But the federal lawsuit filed on Wednesday in Eureka, California says an analysis of its environmental impact is more than 20 years old.

In that time, the lawsuit says officials have listed additional species as threatened or endangered, and those species could be affected by the predator control program. The suit also says new studies have questioned whether killing predators protects livestock.

The suit says federal law requires wildlife officials to conduct additional environmental analysis in light of the new information.

Andre Bell, a spokesman for USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, said the agency can't comment on pending litigation.