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Vertebrate pest control is recognized and sanctioned as a legitimate function of county government in California, not only by statute but also by a century of tradition. This is an anomaly. Ordinarily, regulatory agricultural pest control programs are part of our plant quarantine system, undertaken against newly introduced pests or those which are not of common occurrence. Programs against vertebrate pests, on the other hand, are carried on where the species involved are common, usually are abundant and often are indigenous. The reason for this lies buried in a bit of history that is very pertinent to my subject.