Does Killing Wolves Save Livestock?
Last night, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) confirmed via email that the agency “lethally removed” a second state endangered wolf to protect cows grazing on public lands.
Both wolves were members of the “Smackout” family group.
WDFW’s update stated, “non-lethal deterrence measures were not achieving that goal in the Smackout pack territory,” thus WDFW director authorized the kill orders to address livestock depredations.
But is lethal control the answer?
A 2016 study suggests that there is no proof that shooting wolves saves livestock. The paper further argues that policymakers should suspend predator management programs that aren’t backed by rigorous evidence.
In any case, the public lands of the United States harbor some of the greatest resources of our nation and are owned by all Americans. So, should WDFW be allowed to kill wolves (state endangered no less) on America’s public lands to benefit the profit margins of a private business?