Farmers and pet owners in the eastern third of Washington will be allowed to shoot a wolf caught in the act of attacking livestock or pets under a new rule approved by the Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission.
The commission amended several state wildlife interaction rules, including those addressing conflicts between wolves and livestock, during a public meeting Oct. 4 in Olympia.
The amendments approved by the commission include:
• Making permanent an emergency rule that permits ranchers, farmers and other pet and livestock owners in the eastern third of the state (where wolves are not under federal protection as an endangered species) to kill a wolf that is attacking their animals.
• Adding sheep, goats, swine, donkeys, mules, llamas and alpacas to the list of animals livestock owners could be compensated for if those animals are killed by wolves. The previous list only included cattle, sheep and horses.
• Permitting state compensation regardless of whether livestock owners were raising the animals for commercial purposes.
• Compensating livestock owners for their losses at market value.
The commission said the amendments to the interaction rules make them more consistent with Washington’s Wolf Conservation and Management Plan.