Activists Fear for Dogs in Wisconsin Wolf Hunts
Lawsuit seeks to stop use of hunting dogs
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 14, 2012 1:51 PM CDT
This 2004 file photo provided by the US Fish and Wildlife Service shows a gray wolf resting in tall grass.   (AP Photo/US Fish & Wildlife/File)

(Newser) – Wisconsin will have its first wolf hunting season this fall—and the state is allowing dogs to be used in the hunt, which animal activists say will lead to violent confrontations similar to illegal dog fights. "Mainstream hunters do not want wolves to die in bloody, grotesque ways," says the director of the Wisconsin Humane Society. "This is inhumane and wrong for both animals." That group and others have filed suit against the state's Department of Natural Resources challenging the use of hunting dogs—which no other state allows in wolf hunts, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Wolf hunting is being allowed for the first time in the upper Midwest after the wolf population grew and federal protections were removed for wolves in Minnesota, Wisconsin, and parts of Michigan. More than 10,200 hunters have applied for permits so far, and only 2,000 will be awarded. Wolves are dangerous to hunting dogs even when those dogs are not specifically tracking wolves, the groups say, noting that 192 dogs have been killed by wolves while hunting other animals since 1985.
 

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