On Wednesday, the Wildlife Conservation Society announced that it was pulling its “unity” photography program in the United States.
The move came after the US Department of Agriculture said it was considering restricting the programs participation in its wildlife programs, and that the program could be eliminated.
In an announcement on Wednesday, WCS President Mark Smith said the organization was “not willing to continue to operate with the unity photography program that we have been providing since our inception in 1996.”
Smith said in the announcement that “unity photography was never intended to be used as a vehicle to collect and sell wildlife images and videos.”
The WCS’s goal is to help save wild animals and to inspire the public to protect the environment and conservation.
Smith also criticized the US Fish and Wildlife Service for the way the program has been handled and criticized the USDA for not allowing it to participate in the programs conservation programs.
Smith said the USDA has failed to adequately vet the programs activities and has failed the public and wildlife conservation.
He added that WCS is not willing to participate with the USDA and other federal agencies in these programs.
The USDA announced in June that it had opened a review into the program.
The agency also announced in September that it would review the program to determine if it would be considered a conservation program.
In a statement Wednesday, a USDA spokesperson said that the agency “reaffirms the agency’s commitment to supporting the WCS and other conservation organizations by reviewing and revising our conservation programs, in order to ensure they meet the highest standards of integrity and transparency.”