Reqest Denied for Wolf Hunt Suit Dismissal

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On Friday, a circuit court judge shot down attempts to dismiss a lawsuit that has temporarily banned the use of dogs to hunt wolves in Wisconsin.

Dane County Judge Peter Anderson rejected arguments by lawyers for the state that a lawsuit by a coalition of humane societies was without merit or that they lacked standing to sue. Those groups want the Department of Natural Resources to rewrite the administrative rules for the hunt to include more restrictions and training requirements for the use of dogs.

One of their attorneys, Jodi Habush Sinykin, called Friday’s decision another victory. “The rule as it has been currently written has no reasonable restrictions, fails to protect against unsafe proximity between dogs and wolves, and will lead to grievous injuries, excessive pain and suffering, and death to both dogs and wolves.”

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The case will not affect hunters who hunt without dogs, and in fact, the Department of Natural Resources announced Friday that it had mailed notifications to more than 1,100 hunters that they would receive licenses. Tim Andryk, Chief Legal Counsel with DNR, said what the Department does next has yet to be determined. “On September 26th, our board is going to address this issue. The Natural Resources Board will take it up, and then we’ll get our direction from them.”

The legislature passed the wolf hunt bill shortly after the wolf was removed from the endangered species in Wisconsin. Other states did the same thing, though others did not authorize the use of hunting dogs.

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