According to the New York Times, the suit was filed on Tuesday and seeks an injunction on the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources to halt hunting permits for the five-month hunting season, which begins in October. Currently, there are more than 8,400 applicants for the permit.
The Wisconsin Federated Humane Societies and the National Wolfwatcher Coalition are filing the suit. They want the hunting rules revised to make it clear that that dogs should not be used to confront wolves physically and should only be used to track or trail them. The plaintiffs suggest requiring dogs to be on leashes, as well as training for both hunters and their dogs.
The federal government took wolves off the endangered species list in January, and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker signed a bill in April establishing the hunt of the state’s wolf population that reaches more than 800.
Jodi Habush Sinykin, a lawyer for the plaintiffs, told the New York Times, “This lack of regulation means that dogs can be used in training and in hunting to come into a direct physical confrontation with wolves.”
Just this year in Wisconsin, two dogs have been hurt in wolf attacks and four have died. In July, a wolf pack killed two 5-year-old Plott Hounds while their owner was hunting in Forest County.
PHOTO: Gunnar Ries