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Prevent the Execution of Endangered Wolves!

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife has killed two wolves from the Smackout pack and has authorized further lethal action. Wolves were once numerous in Washington state but were killed off by ranchers and farmers. There are just eight breeding pairs of these endangered apex predators in the entire state of Washington. We must act urgently to take the Smackout pack out of the crosshairs!

The Smackout pack has fewer than eight members. It has been blamed for five "depredations" of calves since September 2016. The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife has argued that these depredations prove that non-lethal methods of deterring wolves from attacking animals being grazed on both public lands as well as within private fenced lots are not working, and hope that killing wolves will deter further depredations. The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife has already killed two wolves from the Smackout pack and intends to kill more if the weakened pack targets cows again.

The ranchers who blamed animal losses on the Smackout pack are often grazing on public land, not privately owned land! Four of the five incidents happened on public property! Our public lands should be places where wild animals can thrive, not places where they can be killed at the behest of farmers and ranchers.

Killing predators to deter attacks on cows and sheep is not just cruel and unethical, it does not work. A study published in Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, a journal of the Ecological Society of America, found that non-lethal methods were more effective than lethal methods in deterring predation on farmed animals. Additionally, the study found that some types of lethal methods, including government killing, were actually followed by an increase in predation on farmed animals. It is clear that The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife's slaughter of wolves in the name of protecting farmed animals is not only immoral, but also profoundly misguided.

Currently, the WDFW's plan to deal with the Smackout wolf pack is in an "evaluation period." If the department finds that its wolf killing has not worked and the Smackout pack has killed more farmed animals, it may continue to keep killing wolves.

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Members of Congress are taking aim at endangered wolves, and we need to stop them. Please sign our petition asking Congress to keep their Endangered Species Act protections intact.

Removing these protections and freezing recovery efforts across the country will deal wolves a deadly blow.

Time and again the courts have sided with scientists in keeping wolves protected -- which is why right-wing politicians have resorted to underhanded schemes like those proposed in a new House budget bill. If passed, this funding bill would not only undermine wolf recovery but damage the Endangered Species Act itself -- one of our nation's bedrock environmental laws.

They would expose thousands of wolves to brutal hunting and trapping seasons and open the door to stripping protections from other species whenever those species are deemed inconvenient by politicians.

Wolves across the country face a dangerous future. The population is perilously small in California. In the Southwest there are just 113 Mexican gray wolves in the wild, not nearly enough for safety and stability. We know exactly what happens when politicians meddle with wildlife. In 2011 Congress stripped Endangered Species Act protections from wolves in five states. Since then it's been open season: More than 3,000 wolves have been killed across the West.

We have to stop this budget bill. Please sign and contact your representatives in Congress to demand that they protect America's wolves.
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