The Humane Society of the United States expressed its disappointment over Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder’s signing of legislation that designates the wolf as a game species and authorizes the Natural Resources Commission to establish a wolf hunting season.
“Wolves have been on the protected list in Michigan for nearly 50 years. With fewer than 700 wolves in Michigan, it’s not right to spend decades bringing the wolf back from the brink of extinction only to turn around and allow them to be killed for sport,” said Jill Fritz, Michigan State Director for HSUS.
Fritz said that it is already legal in Michigan to kill wolves that threaten livestock or dogs, making a trophy hunting season unnecessary. “People don’t eat wolves, and they would be killed just for fun and trophies. Sport hunting of these rare creatures is unnecessary, especially when the wolf population is just starting to recover,” said Fritz.
Fritz added that wolf hunting may involve especially cruel and unfair practices, such as painful steel-jawed leghold traps, hunting over bait, aerial gunning from helicopters, and even using packs of dogs to chase down and kill wolves.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service removed wolves in the Great Lakes region from the endangered species list in January. Since the delisting, Wisconsin and Minnesota have opened wolf hunting seasons. The HSUS and The Fund for Animals have 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.
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