Dane County Judge Peter Anderson issued a temporary injunction against the use of dogs for hunting wolves and the training of dogs to hunt wolves in Wisconsin. In April the State Legislature authorized the wolf hunt and the use of dogs in the hunt. A coalition of Wisconsin humane societies and individuals filed suit arguing the use of dogs in the hunt would lead to many of them being killed by wolves. The judge ruled the wolf hunt could proceed but without dogs.
Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) spokesman Bill Cosh issued a statement saying; “we will consult with our attorneys and assess all of our options. Further, it is important to note that this is a temporary injunction, that suspends the use of dogs in wolf hunting until the judge and parties have more thoroughly investigated, briefed, discussed an litigated the issue so the judge can make a final ruling. A schedule to do that will be set up with the judge, pending the results of the September 14 hearing on the State’s motion to dismiss.”
Meanwhile Cosh says the wolf hunt will go on as scheduled starting October 15th and running through February 28, 2013. However, since hunters were waiting for the court ruling before applying for licenses, DNR is extending the application deadline for a week to September 7th.
The quota for the hunt is 201 wolves but American Indian Tribes were granted 85 of those under treaty rights leaving 116 for the hunt.
The wolf population has been increasing steadily in Wisconsin and is now estimated at between 815 and 880. The growing number of wolves has led to growing depredation problems.