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Washington State Targets Another Wolf Family to Protect Cows

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Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) Director Kelly Susewind today issued a kill order for one wolf from the Smackout wolf pack in a misguided attempt to stop livestock attacks. The kill order expires on September 15, 2022. As of December 2021, the Smackout family consisted of 6 wolves.

Killing Wolves Doesn’t Solve Problems

The state has obliterated several wolf packs over the years, starting with the Wedge Pack in 2012, and has caused countless packs to fragment as a result of targeting individual wolves. All of these kill orders were issued with the same goal: stop livestock depredation. Yet science shows that killing a wolf can increase the risk that wolves will prey on livestock in the future. It is counterproductive and unsustainable.

This latest removal order further illustrates WDFW’s willingness to prioritize private industry over the state’s wildlife. Why are WDFW officials continuing to ignore peer-reviewed science that indicates lethal control of wolves only exacerbates livestock conflict, especially when they’re presented with years of evidence in their own state?