The Humane Society of the United States issued a statement in response to the vote in the Michigan Senate to advance Senate Bill 1350, legislation that would designate wolves a game species and allow the trophy hunting of this species that had been protected for decades. The Senate passed the bill by a vote of 23 to 15.
“It’s already legal in Michigan to kill wolves that threaten livestock or dogs, and a trophy hunting season on these creatures is unnecessary,” said Jill Fritz, Michigan state director for The HSUS. “Nobody eats wolves, and they would be killed just for fun and trophies. Wolves are just beginning to recover from the brink of extinction, after decades of protection, and it’s not right to gun them down for sport.”
Wolves in the Great Lakes region came off the endangered species list only in January. An existing stakeholder-guided management plan already allows for the lethal removal of problem wolves.Designating wolves a game species only serves the interests of the tiny minority of Michiganders who want a trophy for their wall. The overwhelming majority of Michigan citizens value wolves. The HSUS calls on the House to reject this misguided and unnecessary bill.
- The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s decision to delist the Great Lakes wolves became effective earlier this year, after multiple previous attempts to delist wolves were struck down in the courts over the course of the last decade.
- Since the delisting, both Wisconsin and Minnesota have opened wolf hunting seasons, which are in progress. So far this season, at least 98 and 171 wolves have been killed in the respective states. These states have authorized some of the most abusive and unsporting practices including hound hunting and trapping. In Wisconsin, the hound hunting of wolves was suspended for the current season due to a lawsuit.
- Last month, The Humane Society of the United States and The Fund for Animals served notice that they will file suit against the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to restore federal protections for Great Lakes wolves under the Endangered Species Act.
- The wolf population in Michigan is estimated at only about 700 animals.
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