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Killing Wolves Sparks Heated Debate In Washington Senate

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

OLYMPIA, Wash. – It would be easier to kill gray wolves that attack livestock or pets under a bill that passed the Washington Senate Friday. Currently, ranchers and property owners can’t kill protected animals, like wolves, without the permission of the Department of Fish and Wildlife. The bill sparked heated debate in the Senate.

Republican state Sen. John Smith said the measure would allow people to defend their animals, including the dog his son loves.

“Right now, my wife would have no choice but to keep our children within the house as both of my children cried as over the next two to three hours, the wolves ripped that dog apart and ate it alive.”

But, critics of the bill said it would make it too easy for ranchers and property owners to kill wolves.

After a narrow vote in the Senate, the wolf management measure now heads to the house.

On the Web:

SB 5187: Protecting domestic animals against wolf attacks - Washington Legislature