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Rural Groups React Positively to Removing Wolf Protections
Wisconsin Ag Connection - 01/30/2007

Farmers and ranchers are joining forces with sportsmen in celebrating Monday's announcement by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife and Federal Interior Agency to remove the gray wolf from the federal endangered species list. The Wisconsin Cattlemen's Association, six Safari Club International Chapters and houndsmen from the Wisconsin Bear Hunters' Association have been pushing for the move in recent weeks by releasing a new 30 second television ad noting the sharp rise in wolf attacks in recent years.

The group's ad, titled 'Little Red Riding Hood warned us about wolf,' cites statistics showing that wolf attacks on livestock have tripled over the last three years. It also depicts a view of kids at a playground being closely watched by a wolf.

"People used to believe that wolves lived in remote forests," said Bob Welch representing the state's Safari Club chapters. "But the reality is that the wolf population has exploded to the point where they are not wrecking havoc on cows, sheep, dogs and property."

Eric Koens of the Wisconsin Cattlemen's Association says the animals are not only killing and injuring livestock and other domestic animals at an alarming rate, but the very presence of wolves on livestock farms result in a variety of negative impacts to livestock production and to the farm family, both economically and socially.

Last year, there were about 2,700 head of cattle killed by predators like wolves and coyotes. The Department of Natural Resources says about 4,000 wolves live in Wisconsin, Minnesota and Michigan. Wisconsin's wolf herd is about 500.

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