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UW-Madison wolf expert claims serious problems with grey wolf hunting bill

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Grey wolf
Grey wolf

MADISON, WI (WTAQ) - A wolf expert from UW-Madison told state lawmakers Wednesday there are serious problems with a bill to create a hunting season for grey wolves.

The bill was quickly proposed after the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service removed Upper Midwest grey wolves from the national endangered species’ list.

The UW’s Adrian Treves did not oppose a wolf hunt – but he said the size and scope must be a lot narrower than what lawmakers are considering.

For one thing, Treves said a wolf hunt should not be conducted statewide. He cited previous studies by his UW research team which showed that 11 of every 12 wolf attacks against farm animals occur in less than one-third of Wisconsin’s land area.

Also, the bill would allow hunters to use dogs and traps to kill wolves – but Treves says Wisconsinites are clearly against that. He said his team surveyed state residents 5 times in the last 11 years, and they’ve opposed the use of dogs an -traps by a 2 to 1 margin.

Treves also told lawmakers that opponents of wolf hunting would try to make it a campaign issue for politicians – and he predicted lawsuits to delay or stop a wolf hunt. 

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