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Washington Wildlife Officials Prioritize Cows, Issue Kill Order for Two Wolves

Family Love Duo Edit

Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) Director Kelly Susewind today authorized a kill order for WDFW and issued a kill permit to a livestock producer, allowing for the killing of up to two wolves from the Leadpoint pack.

In accordance with the agency’s controversial Wolf Plan and 2017 wolf-livestock interaction protocol, WDFW Director Kelly Susewind authorized “lethal removal” in response to repeated depredations of cattle on private grazing lands in Stevens County. As of December 2021, the Leadpoint family consisted of at least 10 wolves.

Leadpoint Pack territory in Washington. Map courtesy of WDFW.

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?