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Cattle farmer wants judge's ruling on wolves challenged

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New Richmond, 54017
New Richmond Wisconsin 127 South Knowles Avenue 54017

A cattle farmer in northern Wisconsin says he hopes the federal government appeals a ruling that halted lethal control of problem wolves in the state.

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Two years ago, four wolves killed about six cattle on Bill Anderson's farm in rural Bayfield County.

He says federal wildlife agents working in coordination with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources came and caught the wolves and put them to death. He says the animals were killed humanely and quickly, unlike the deaths his cattle suffered.

Anderson says there have been no repeats of the wolf attacks, but he says he still worries about his cattle. So he paid close attention last week when a federal judge in Washington halted Wisconsin's effort to kill problem wolves, deciding that lethal controls violated the Endangered Species Act.

Anderson says he doesn't like the alternative of simply relocating the wolves. He says officials try that with bears and he says they often return. He says it would be fine if wolves can be taken somewhere where they don't cause any problems.

For now, the DNR isn't taking problem wolves anywhere.

The DNR says after last week's court ruling, it suspended even the trapping of wolves, out of fears a wolf would die in a trap while it waited to be moved.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is expected to decide this week if it will appeal the ruling.

The Humane Society of the U.S. brought the case against the lethal controls. It says it doesn't want federal law to be bypassed while the Interior Department decides on a proposal to remove grey wolves in the western Great Lakes from the list of endangered and threatened species.

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