Animal Wellness Action
Press Release

Wayne Pacelle of Animal Wellness Action Decries Plan to Kill More than 20 Percent of Wisconsin Wolves by Especially Inhumane Means During Their Breeding Season


By - Feb 20th, 2021 10:56 am

Today, Animal Wellness Action (AWA) expressed grief and dismay over the decision by a Wisconsin appeals court not to grant a request from the state Department of Natural Resources (DNR) to block the opening of a trophy hunting season on wolves, now set to begin on Monday and to extend through the end of the month. AWA previously filed a 60-day “Notice of Intent to Sue” the U.S. Department of the Interior for its illegal de-listing of wolves in most of the lower 48 states and strongly criticized the last-second plan in comments filed with the DNR opposing a 2021 winter wolf hunting season. There may be only 1,000 wolves in Wisconsin, and the DNR will now be issuing 4,000 hunting licenses.

A judge in Jefferson County, deciding a case filed by a Kansas-based trophy hunting advocacy group called Hunter Nation, ruled last week that the DNR had to establish a wolf hunting and trapping season this month. The DNR appealed that ruling, and the appeals court yesterday said it had no jurisdiction to act.

Wayne Pacelle, president of Animal Wellness Action, issued the following statement:

“There will be four hunters and trappers for every wolf in the state, with the state issuing 4,000 people license to kill wolves.  It’s bad enough that the kill is capped at 200 – an enormous percentage of the state’s wolf population – but that cap is unenforceable given the compressed time period for the hunt.  The number of wolves killed in the coming days may far exceed the kill limit before word gets out to hunters and commercial trappers to stop the killing. Many wolf packs throughout the state will be decimated, for no reason other but groundless vengeance and thrill-killing.

It’s especially sad because it’s incontrovertible that wolves are an ecological boon, both keeping deer numbers in check and also acting as a bulwark against the spread of Chronic Wasting Disease among cervids.

The Biden Administration must recognize that the states are not properly handling their management authority for wolves and jeopardizing their recovery.  The United States must seek to have the U.S. District Court in the ongoing federal delisting lawsuit remand this case back to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service so that it can restore protections for wolves and put an end to any repeat of this disgraceful hunt during the animals’ breeding season.

Is there anything as diabolical as hunting and cruelly trapping these family-oriented animals at this scale during their breeding season, just after they were wrongly removed from the list of federally ‘endangered’ species?”

Animal Wellness Action (Action) is a Washington, D.C.-based 501(c)(4) organization with a mission of helping animals by promoting legal standards forbidding cruelty. We champion causes that alleviate the suffering of companion animals, farm animals, and wildlife. We advocate for policies to stop dogfighting and cockfighting and other forms of malicious cruelty and to confront factory farming and other systemic forms of animal exploitation. To prevent cruelty, we promote enacting good public policies and we work to enforce those policies. To enact good laws, we must elect good lawmakers, and that’s why we remind voters which candidates care about our issues and which ones don’t. We believe helping animals helps us all.

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