Animal welfare groups sue to end Midwest wolf hunt

This week a number of animal advocacy groups filed a lawsuit in federal court against the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) and the Department of the Interior to restore federal protections for gray wolves in the western Great Lakes region, which were removed last year.

 The lawsuit, which was brought by the Humane Society of the United States, Born Free USA, Help Our Wolves Live, Friends of Animals, argues that the decision to delist wolves in Wisconsin, Minnesota and Michigan before they are completely recovered will not only threaten current populations of wolves, but will prevent their dispersal to currently uninhabited parts of their historic range, reports the AP.

“In the short time since federal protections have been removed, trophy hunters and trappers have killed hundreds of Great Lakes wolves under hostile state management programs that encourage dramatic reductions in wolf populations,” said Jonathan Lovvorn, senior vice president and chief counsel for animal protection litigation at The HSUS. “This decision rolls back the only line of defense for wolf populations, and paves the way for the same state-sponsored eradication policies that pushed this species to the brink of extinction in the first place.”

More than 1,000 wolves have been slaughtered this year in the Northern Rockies since they were stripped of their protection under the Endangered Species Act. Hunters and trappers killed 413 in Minnesota and 117 in Wisconsin in less than four months. Minnesota had promised a five year moratorium on wolf hunting if they were delisted, but that plan was quickly trashed by legislators.

“Wolf populations are just at the threshold of rebounding in many areas across the Great Lakes Region,” said Linda Hatfield, executive director of Help Our Wolves Live. “The recent delisting has taken the wolf back to the old days, days before the ESA, the days of state-sponsored bounty payments to hunters and trappers that were intended to eliminate wolves from the landscape.”

Hunters and trappers have been authorized to use a variety of cruel and brutal methods to kill wolves from night hunting and the use of dogs, to baiting and using snares and leghold traps.

In December, Michigan designated wolves as a game species after 50 years of protection and handed management over to the state’s Natural Resources Commission, which could mean wolf hunting and trapping in the state this fall. Wolf advocates are currently collecting signatures to stop the hunt and bring the issue to voters.

“The Endangered Species Act is popularly considered one of the most powerful conservation laws on the books, but it is rendered impotent if species are not allowed to recover fully across the breadth of their range before delisting,” said Adam Roberts, executive vice president of Born Free USA. “Simply put, the gray wolf still requires protection under the Act.”

The FWS has 60 days to respond to the lawsuit. Meanwhile, its considering a proposal to remove Endangered Species Act protection for all wolves in the Lower 48, with the possible exception of the Mexican gray wolf – a move that has many worried it will completely derail recovery efforts across the country.

Responses to "Animal Rights Groups Unite to Get Wolves the Protection They Need"

  1. Anonymous says:

    The relentless slaughter of wolves, now bison and our wild horses and burros. Who's next? Bears? Big cats? Where does this killing craze in the name of greed stop???

    The problem isn't with nature, roaming where nature is supposed to be living, the problem is with cattle rancher's using public lands to graze cattle at the expense of the land and it's original inhabitants.

    It's past time to take away cattle grazing on public lands. It's past time to boycott EVERYTHING that comes out of these killing states.

    These animals belong to ALL the citizens of the United Sates NOT the states that they happen to inhabit. Let's take a stand and protect our wildlife against these greedy parasites called ranchers!

  2. Anonymous says:

    What a shame that a animal so nobel and clearly linked with the original inhabitants of this great country, so threatens the government. The wolf should be allowed to live peaceably in its own habitat, not be hunted down like the American Indians and The Bison were. Shame on us as Humans if we let this happen once again to an endangered species.

  3. Anonymous says:

    The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service needs culling.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Thank God!! This is what I've been hoping and praying for!! Now if only we could get the Native American tribes in these areas to come together and join us!

  5. Mep says:

    This has to stop. Plain and simple. I agree with all of these comments. These majestic and needed animals of an already fragile ecosystem have a right to continue to live and do what is naturally needed to keep balance. I am so disgusted with our Government on so many levels and this brings this to a level far exceeding my hatred of all politicians. As a member of the HSUS I am proud my donations are being used for such a needed act. I hope and pray the suit passes this needed bill to protect all creatures of our great Earth. If this does not pass then what next? All animals are open to sick and twisted laws to give the go ahead to kill anything that roams into the rich mans land? What a sick and twisted society we who care live among. So Obama. If you are not speaking out both sides of your mouth, you will stand with us and put a stop to this. Plain and simple.

  6. It all comes down to money and greed. The livestock has taken a huge percentage of the land and given no room to wildlife. There are so many ways to keep Wolves and other predators from killing livestock.
    It's wonderful to know that there are many groups in support of the Wolves.
    They say history repeats itself...maybe it's time for a change to live with wildlife - not against it...

  7. Sandy says:

    These are God's awesome animals! They are not for man's sport or his way to make money. God provided land and plenty of game for the wolf and man to hunt; it is not the wolf's fault that man thinks he can let his slow moving livestock be free on the land that God provided for His wildlife. Anyone involved will truly answer to God for the slaughtering of the wolf. Until the wolf goes knocking on 'grandma's door' or starts saying...'little pig, little pig, let me come in'...LEAVE THE WOLF ALONE! The wolf does not belong to us for our doing, they belong to God. Anyone that kills these awesome animals has to be crazy, the wolf has love in their eyes and they just want live, play, and provide for their families.

  8. Anonymous says:

    PLEASE STOP this unnecessary slaughtering of our wolves!!! They ARE ONLY doing what they need to do to survive!!!!

  9. Anonymous says:

    Wolves are a necessary predator. Furthermore they were once protected under the endangered species act and they have not been allowed to recover and are being shot to extinction - on the whim of ranchers and even worse trophy hunters. This is a VERY WRONG decision and MUST be stopped.

  10. When people hunt wolves, they are killing dogs. When they use domestic dogs to hunt wolves, they are encouraging dog aggression and possible cannibalism if the dogs happen to eat the wolves. There is a lot wrong with the whole idea of killing predatory animals in the first place. Wolves, bears, coyotes and wild dogs are necessary members of their respective ecosystems. They usually top the food chains in those ecosystems and they are the animals that keep prey populations under control. We need to stop catering to stupid farmers/ranchers who are foolish enough to not use electric fences on their properties to keep wild animals out. It is not the fault of the wolves that sheep and cattle are tempting, easy prey, it is the fault of man. Reducing the wolf populations in these states will only increase prey animal disease spreading and out of control prey populations. Legislators need to get their heads out of their asses and drop the bribe money. We, the people, need to stand up and give them hell if they don't.

  11. Anonymous says:

    I'm dedicating my life to save them. I will be donating all the monetary proceeds of my graphic novel series to wolf conservation groups world wide.

    Please help us.
    We have less than 2 days to get 100,000 signatures.

    Together we can save them.

    Stefanie Levina

  12. Ineta says:

    Where can I sign??? I'd love to help! This is outrageous!

  13. wolfsynn says:

    Money, Greed ?! Maybe a part of the problem, but where is the main point here ? The sick low-brow bloodlusting hunters who poison, trap, torture, and get their jollies by spilling blood. These guys gut shoot wolves to let them die slowly. They run them over. Then they pose with bodies and chuckle, looking in their minds like big macho tough guys. If they had half a brain, that worked, they would see how impotent and asinine they really were. Perhaps the fact the gov't. backs them so much is that they know if these clowns didn't have wolves or other animals to kill, they'd move onto something else. Not so unthinkable, you just never turn these morons off.

  14. Anonymous says:

    We need to stop killing these beautiful animals.

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