Oregon Issues Kill Order for Wolves to Protect Cows on Public Lands
Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) issued a kill permit to a livestock producer after a family of wolves attacked some of their livestock on public lands. The family of wolves, known as the Chesnimnus Pack, consists of 8-9 adults and yearling wolves; the mother may be located in a den in a separate area.
The kill permit expires on May 24 or when two wolves are killed.
Killing Wolves Does Not Reduce Conflict
Science shows that killing a wolf can increase the risk that wolves will prey on livestock in the future. It is counterproductive and unsustainable. Additional research also suggests that killing of wolves can increase the risk to nearby farms, providing further evidence for the ineffectiveness of the so-called “lethal control” policy approach.
Wildlife managers across the West trap and kill wolves, cougars and coyotes and other predators, and lethal control has become more common for wolves in Oregon and Washington as their populations have grown. But many scientists contend there’s little good evidence for the effectiveness of those efforts.
Under Oregon’s Wolf Plan rules, livestock producers must be using and document non-lethal methods to deter wolves before lethal control can be considered. Also, there can be no identified circumstances on the property (such as bone piles or carcasses) that could be attracting wolves.
Oregon was home to 175 wolves at the end of 2021, an increase of two wolves from 2020. 26 wolves were found dead in 2021; 21 of these deaths were human-caused (poaching, vehicle collisions, and ODFW killing on behalf of livestock owners).