Animals & Money: Blowing big money on blowing away predators

Now that Obama is in control of the government, one of the big priorities of animal advocates -- even bigger than getting the Obama family a shelter dog -- is the elimination of the USDA's Wildlife Services Department, which spends $117 million a year in a Sisyphean quest to exterminate predators.

They kill about 1.5 million birds (mainly starlings) and 150,000 animals (mainly coyotes). All of this is in the name of protecting livestock -- or, in the case of the starlings, grain -- and ironically, often grain farmers are growing for birdseed. The beef and sheep producers say they lose $125 million a year to predators and claim the number would be much higher without the federal help.