By K.C. Mehaffey
The state Fish and Wildlife Commission on Friday adopted a rule that allows some pet and livestock owners to kill a wolf that is attacking their animals.
The rule applies only to animal owners in the eastern one-third of the state, where the gray wolf is no longer protected under the federal Endangered Species Act due to successful recovery. The rule would not apply in Chelan County, or in the Methow Valley, where wolves are still protected.
The rule makes permanent an emergency rule adopted in April.
Before the new rule, livestock owners had to obtain a permit from the state before killing a wolf.
Livestock owners can now kill a wolf attacking their livestock without a permit. Any wolves killed must be reported to the state within 24 hours. Livestock owners must allow access to the property where the wolf was killed so the state can investigate and must give the dead wolf to the state.
Commissioners also added goats, pigs, donkeys, mules, llamas and alpacas to the list of livestock for which owners can be compensated if killed by a wolf. The state previously compensated for only cattle, sheep and horses.
Owners will also now be compensated for the market value of their losses regardless of whether the animals were being raised commercially.