Humane societies has planned to ask a Madison court this week to keep in place a ban on using dogs during Wisconsin's wolf hunt. That hearing has been postponed to January 4th, because of concerns over a winter storm forecast for Wednesday night and Thursday. The DNR also plans public hearings early next year that assume dogs will be part of the wolf hunting scene.
Last week, the DNR board okayed hearings on permanent rules for the wolf hunt. This year's hunt has been taking place under emergency rules passed in July. The proposed language for the permanent regulations spells out when dogs can be trained for the wolf hunt and says the dogs must wear a collar or tattoo that identifies its owner. DNR land administrator Kurt Thiede says the legislature ordered the DNR to have a proposal for permanent rules ready by this month. He says the rules are aimed at the safe use of dogs, "The provision in the permanent rule carries limits when dogs could be used and adds training."
But sending proposed permanent wolf hunt rules to public hearing before a state court has settled the issue on using dogs doesn't sit with Jodi Habush-Sinykin. She's one of the attorneys representing a coalition of humane societies and conservation organizations in the wolf hunt case, "I found this permanent rule quite curious, because it's in the face of court rulings so far."
Habush-Sinykin says the proposed permanent rules still lack common-sense restrictions needed to prevent unsafe interactions between individual wolves and dogs, as well as packs of the animals. She also says humane societies will note that the DNR has said it's very happy with how this year's wolf hunt has been going, even though dogs have been banned.