Idaho Senate OKs bill to kill up to 90% of wolves in state

National

FILE – In this July 16, 2004, file photo, a gray wolf is seen at the Wildlife Science Center in Forest Lake, Minn. Wolf hunting policies in some U.S. states are taking an aggressive turn as Republican lawmakers and conservative hunting groups push to curb their numbers. Antipathy toward wolves for killing livestock and big game dates to when early European immigrants settled the American West in the 1800s. (AP Photo/Dawn Villella, File)

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — The Idaho Senate has approved legislation allowing the state to hire private contractors to kill up to 90% of the wolves roaming Idaho.

The agriculture industry-backed bill approved Wednesday includes additional changes intended to cut the wolf population from about 1,500 to 150.

Backers say there are too many wolves and they are attacking cattle, sheep, and wildlife.

Opponents say the legislation threatens a 2002 wolf management plan involving the federal government that could ultimately lead to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service taking back control of managing the state’s wolves.

About 500 wolves have been killed in Idaho in each of the past two years.

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