Health Editor’s Note: What a travesty! No restrictions put on the way the wolves are hunted. Livestock owners complaints and hunters who want to be the ones to kill the elk are the driving force for this. The wolves will be “hunted” by human animals who can use night-vision equipment, snowmobiles, ATVs, baiting, hunting from helicopters, and trapping and snaring of wolves, including new born pups. How can this be allowed to happen?……Carol
by Theresa Machemer/Smithsonianmag.com
Last week, Idaho governor Brad Little signed a bill into law that allows hunters to kill about 90 percent of the state’s wolves.
The new law, SB1211, was supported by ranchers who say that wolves threaten their livestock and hunters who say that the wolves have reduced elk populations. Both of those claims are disputed by opponents of the new rules, who include scientists, conservation groups and other hunting groups, Douglas Main reports for National Geographic. The new law allows anyone with a wolf hunting tag to kill an unlimited number of wolves and lifts restrictions about how those animals can be killed. It also increases the state’s budget for hiring private contractors to kill wolves.
“Today marks a low point for gray wolf recovery in the U.S.,” says Zoe Hanley, a carnivore ecologist and representative of the Defenders of Wildlife, per the Associated Press’ Keith Ridler. “For years Idaho wolves have been intensely persecuted through the nation’s most permissive hunting and trapping seasons, and this bill all but pushes the species back to the brink of federal relisting.”