OLYMPIA — The Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission on Friday will consider making permanent an emergency rule that allows some pet and livestock owners to kill a wolf that is attacking their animals.
The new rule would apply only to animal owners in the eastern one-third of the state, where — due to successful recovery — the gray wolf is no longer protected under the federal Endangered Species Act.
In April, the Commission adopted the emergency rule after 10 state lawmakers urged the commission to address concerns of residents who were experiencing wolf problems.
Before putting an emergency rule in place, livestock owners had to obtain a permit from the agency before killing a wolf. That rule came at the urging of 10 state lawmakers who urged the state to address concerns of residents in areas quickly being repopulated by wolves.
Under the new rule, livestock owners can kill only one wolf unless Wildlife officials determine that more attacks are likely. Any killing of wolves must be reported to the state within 24 hours. In addition, the livestock owner must allow investigators access to the property where the wolf was killed, and must give the dead wolf to the state.
The new rule now under consideration would also add goats, pigs, donkeys, mules, llamas and alpacas to the list of livestock for which owners can be compensated. The current list includes only cattle, sheep and horses. It would also compensate livestock owners for the market value of their losses, and allow compensation regardless of whether the animals were being raised commercially.
The commission meeting begins at 8:30 a.m. in Room 172 of the Natural Resources Building, 1111 Washington St. S.E. At 1:45 p.m., commissioners will be briefed on wolf management activities from this summer, and will discuss and are scheduled to make decision on amending the wolf management rules at 3 p.m.