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The impact of vertebrate animal damage on agricultural production of row crops, forests, horticulture, poultry and livestock production, other wildlife, health of humans and domestic animals, and the protection of human interests is a vital concern of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The Department recognizes that it is an old and complex problem that does not lend itself to easy answers. Animal damage problems will continue to be a significant concern of USDA and will probably always be controversial, requiring intensive research, educational, regulatory, and assistance programs. The objectives of the Department are to develop and maintain viable programs in animal damage control that are safe, effective and environmentally sound and to cooperate with programs of other departments and agencies, both federal and state, to alleviate the impacts of animal damage on people and their interests.