The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife has killed two wolves from the Smackout pack and has authorized further lethal action. Wolves were once numerous in Washington state but were killed off by ranchers and farmers. There are just eight breeding pairs of these endangered apex predators in the entire state of Washington. We must act urgently to take the Smackout pack out of the crosshairs!
The Smackout pack has fewer than eight members. It has been blamed for five "depredations" of calves since September 2016. The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife has argued that these depredations prove that non-lethal methods of deterring wolves from attacking animals being grazed on both public lands as well as within private fenced lots are not working, and hope that killing wolves will deter further depredations. The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife has already killed two wolves from the Smackout pack and intends to kill more if the weakened pack targets cows again.
The ranchers who blamed animal losses on the Smackout pack are often grazing on public land, not privately owned land! Four of the five incidents happened on public property! Our public lands should be places where wild animals can thrive, not places where they can be killed at the behest of farmers and ranchers.
Killing predators to deter attacks on cows and sheep is not just cruel and unethical, it does not work. A study published in Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, a journal of the Ecological Society of America, found that non-lethal methods were more effective than lethal methods in deterring predation on farmed animals. Additionally, the study found that some types of lethal methods, including government killing, were actually followed by an increase in predation on farmed animals. It is clear that The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife's slaughter of wolves in the name of protecting farmed animals is not only immoral, but also profoundly misguided.
Currently, the WDFW's plan to deal with the Smackout wolf pack is in an "evaluation period." If the department finds that its wolf killing has not worked and the Smackout pack has killed more farmed animals, it may continue to keep killing wolves.
Join us in telling Jim Unsworth, Director of the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, to cease the senseless persecution of Washington's wolves!
1.) Call Director Unsworth's office to let him know you oppose further lethal action against the Smackout Wolf Pack:
You can simply say:
Washington has a history of non-lethal action against wolves, and I encourage you to continue with this approach. Wolves are members of an endangered species who were killed off by ranching and farming interests. Please do not let wolves be killed off again on your watch. Public lands exist for the public and for wild animals, and private interests should not take precedence. Predators are an important part of an intact and healthy ecosystem, and they should not be removed from the land for expressing natural behaviors. I urge you to cease lethal action against the Smackout wolf pack and all other wolves in Washington.
2.) Sign our letter letting Director Jim Unsworth know that you do not want to see any other members of the Smackout wolf pack killed.
Please cease lethal action against the Smackout wolf pack
Dear [Decision Maker],
Thank you,[Your Name] [Your Address] [City, State ZIP]
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