Bill Allows For Removal Of Endangered Wolves Suspected Of Attacking Cattle

February 04, 2014

A state Senate committee has approved legislation that would allow the Arizona Department of Agriculture to take endangered Mexican Gray Wolves, if they’re caught in the act of or suspected of attacking cattle. Rancher Chase Caldwell, who supports the bill, says wolves have repeatedly destroyed his cattle, but because they’re endangered he can’t fight back.

“We’re against the heavy-handed method the government has used to force this ill-advised program upon us without recognition of or mitigation of impacts to our livelihoods, our health and our safety,” Caldwell said.

Sandy Bahr of the Sierra Club argues wolves are not the major cause of cattle depredation, citing other causes like diseases. She says the bill sends a bad message.

“It’s also irresponsible and unethical to encourage people, especially those that actually work for the state, to flaunt federal laws and engage in blatantly unlawful actions,” Bahr said.

It’s estimated only 83 of the Mexican wolves remain. The Senate Government and Environment Committee also approved changes to the Mexican Gray Wolf program and money to fight it in court.