WDFW is only providing one full business day advance public notice before initiating lethal removal. No lethal removal activity will occur prior to Tuesday, June 23. Please contact WDFW below.
The wolves are to be killed by the agency’s staff or livestock operator. The department first announced on June 10th that an injured calf had been discovered five days earlier. Upon discovery, the calf’s injuries were already healing and estimated to have been incurred roughly one week before. The kill order comes despite the calf’s recovery and the department’s inability to verify that a Togo wolf inflicted the injuries.
“We are incensed to learn of yet another wolf-kill order from the state,” Amaroq Weiss, a senior West Coast wolf advocate with the Center for Biological Diversity, said in a statement. “The department’s irrational rush to kill these wolves shows exactly why Washington needs to create rules to protect these endangered animals.”
According to the department, several proactive conflict-deterrence measures had been in place prior to turning out the herd on a private pasture. These included daily monitoring by range riders charged with looking for sick and injured cows, though the calf’s injuries went undetected for a week. After examination, the calf was turned back out to pasture.
“This kill order makes little sense,” stated Weiss. “The department hasn’t radio-collared any Togo pack members, so it can’t be sure a Togo wolf was involved. Issuing a kill order for an injured calf that was returned to pasture is not an appropriate response.”
There have not been any new wolf predations since the calf was injured in late May, so killing wolves now also violates the department’s position that killing wolves more than 14 days after a predation will have no effect in halting future predations.
Since 2012, the state has killed 31 wolves, which are listed as endangered under state law throughout Washington and endangered under federal law in the western two-thirds of the state. In killing wolves, the department claims it is relying on a state wolf plan adopted in 2011 and guidance from a separate protocol crafted by the agency in 2016 and 2017.
Neither the plan nor the protocol contains requirements or enforceable provisions as to when wolves may be killed over livestock conflicts.
In May, the Center and allies filed an administrative petition urging the WDFW to adopt rules with enforceable requirements for the department. The petition also urges livestock operators to use appropriate nonlethal measures before resorting to killing wolves. The rules would replace the guidance in the protocol.
Please help save the members of the endangered Togo wolf pack by speaking out against this injustice today!