Bill number 1211 that allows Idaho to hire private contractors to kill up to 90% of wolves in Idaho was approved by the senate of Idaho on the 21st of April 2021. Republican Sen. Mark Harris who is one of the bill’s sponsors said: “These wolves, there’s too many in the state of Idaho now,” he also said: “We’re supposed to have 15 packs, 150 wolves. We’re up to 1,553, was the last count, 1,556, something like that. They’re destroying ranchers. They’re destroying wildlife. This is a needed bill.”
The intention of the bill is to cut the wolf population from about 1,500 to 150. The bill was approved 26-7-2 and was agriculture industry backed. Republican Sen. Van Burtenshaw said: “The purpose of this legislation is to control the population, not to wipe them out,” he said. “There’s never been any discussion in the working group of complete annihilation of the wolf population, or killing 90% of the wolves.”
Democratic Sen. Grant Burgoyne said: “We do know that if we want to maintain our agreement with the federal government, we need to stop at 90%,” he said. “That’s what we know.”
The Idaho department of Fish and Game reported that the wolf population stayed at about 1,500 for the past 2 years. They use remote cameras and other methods to keep track of the number of wolves. Federal authorities, hunters and trappers have killed five hundred wolves a year for the past two years.
The bill introduced changes that removes the restrictions on the number of wolves one person is allowed to kill. It also allows hunters to use ATVs, snowmobiles, and other methods to kill predator animals.
The Associated Press reported that the bill still needs to go to the house chamber. The senior attorney at the center for biological diversity Andrea Zaccardi said: “The Idaho Senate’s sudden move to pass this bill in the eleventh hour incentivizes the cruel deaths of more than 1,000 wolves across the state,” Andrea Zaccardi continued: “The consequences of this bill will be horrendous. This brutal war on wolves must be stopped, and we urge the House to deny this bill.”
Image Copyright: Tami Freed