Salem, OR - On Tuesday, September 27th at 10:00am, activists from the Animal Defense League put the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife on lockdown, blocking all entrances and locking themselves to doors with bike locks. The Animal Defense League is demanding an end to the agency's program of wolf persecution and extermination.
Late last week, the ODFW announced plans to cull two more wolves from the Imnaha pack, reducing the pack size down to only two. One of the two wolves to be killed will be the pack's alpha male. This will leave only the alpha female and her young pup born earlier this year.
The state's wolf recovery goal calls for four breeding pairs, producing two pups who survive at least a year, for three consecutive years. Yet, this plan of action will take out one of the only known breeding pairs in the state, as it is not known whether the other two packs are breeding.
The ODFW has been managing wolves in Eastern Oregon since spring, when the Fish and Wildlife Service controversially delisted the wolves as an Endangered Species in the Northern Rockies. Since then, the ODFW has already killed three wolves.
The recent decision to kill two more wolves by the ODFW comes despite the fact that Oregon just passed a Livestock Compensation and Wolf Coexistence bill, which would create economic incentives for those ranchers who use nonlethal deterrents and compensate for losses to those who try to coexist with wolves. It has only been a few months since this bill passed, yet the ODFW has fallen back on outdated and unsound methods of dealing with wildlife.
"Already, states such as Montana, Idaho and Wyoming have opened season for wolf slaughter, allowing hunters to take up to 90% of the population," says a representative of the Animal Defense League. "Oregon is heading down that path and the ODFW seems to be yielding to the growing anti-wolf sentiments and political climate of the livestock industry, decrying the gray wolf as a scapegoat."
For more information, please visit: http://pdxanimaldefenseleague.org/