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Are Wolves the Real Killers? Feds Count Livestock Losses Differently in the Northern Rockies

[large thumbnail url=”are-wolves-the-real-killers-feds-count-livestock-losses-differently-in-the-northern-rockies” filename=”news” year=”2011″ month=”07″ day=”18″] [thumbnail icon url=”are-wolves-the-real-killers-feds-count-livestock-losses-differently-in-the-northern-rockies” filename=”news” year=”2011″ month=”07″ day=”18″] Fiercely fanged, wolves efficiently kill and dismember prey. Their ferocity is indisputable, but so is their unity within the pack. The wolf is therefore symbolic of both a strong family bond and wild freedom. According to biologists, these top carnivores keep ecosystems healthy and biologically robust.

Despite their immense importance, wolves are relentlessly persecuted by the livestock industry. These producers, as we show here, inflate the numbers of livestock losses from wolves. Those testimonials result in detrimental outcomes for wolves.

Wolves’ beauty and spirit make them loved by most. A fearful few, however, see wolves as the emblem of destruction. This minority believes it “competes” with wolves for food and attributes supernatural predatory powers to wolves. The fearful few claim, with no evidence, that deer and elk herds have been “decimated” by wolves, and that wolves harm the livestock industry. Most in this group operate on misinformation and inherited beliefs, not fact.

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the agribusiness industry can be counted among the fearful few, killing wolves with alarming readiness. USDA agents shoot wolves from planes and helicopters. Agents salt our national landscapes with sodium cyanide, M-44s, booby traps and neck snares. Rascals, sanctioned or just tolerated, set out illegal poison bait, often using banned substances such as Compound 1080, or shoot wolves where they have returned to the backcountry.

These acts of aggression against wolves are wrong, contrary to the will of the people, and based on lies…

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