Idaho Approves Plans To Kill 90% Of The State’s Wolves
Idaho has approved a piece of legislation that will allow private contractors to kill 90% of the state’s wolves.
A Republican-dominated state Senate committee greenlit the bill on Tuesday, April 20, following people expressing concerns that there are too many of the wolves roaming around the state.
While the bill received no Democratic support, the Senate Resources and Environment Committee voted 6-2 in favour of culling the number of wolves.
This will see the number of animals go from 1,500 to a measly 150, with the killings being carried out by private contractors hired by the state.
The limit on the number of wolf tags issued per hunter will be removed. Wolf-trapping will also be allowed all year round on private land, AP News reports.
In addition to this, only one tag will be needed for hunting, trapping and snaring purposes.
Democratic Senate Minority Leader Michelle Stennett expressed concerns and asked if there is ‘anything that’s not allowed as far as the take of wolves?’, to which the bill’s sponsor, Republican Senator Van Burtenshaw, replied with, ‘There’s nobody in this group that wants to wipe out the wolves completely.’
‘We want to manage the wolves, we want them to be not wiped out, that’s not our plan here, but to be managed to a level that we can deal with the issues that are ahead of us, and that is depredation,’ he continued.
The Idaho Department of Fish and Game has been tracking the number of wolves in the state, and found that there’s been around 1,500 of them over the past two years. Until now, 500 of the animals were being killed annually.
The animals are allegedly costing farmers thousands of dollars due to attacking livestock such as sheep and cows.
Wyatt Prescott of the Idaho Cattle Association said of the new legislation:
For the cattle industry, our priority really revolves around opening up the Wolf Depredation Control Board to contract with private individuals and enabling the free-market system to take place and create more efficiencies in actually controlling those wolf populations.
In light of the legislation being passed, the amount that the Idaho Department of Fish and Game sends to the Idaho Wolf Depredation Control board will almost triple from $110,000 to $300,000.
The board was created in 2014 to manage the state money the Idaho governor’s office receives to kill the wolves, according to AP News.
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