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August 06, 2010

Wolves Win: Federal Court Reinstates Protections

It’s been a big week for canines. I announced on the blog yesterday that the puppy mill initiative we’re promoting with partner organizations had qualified for the Missouri ballot this November—and with the state accounting for 40 percent of all dogs in the pet trade, it’s an enormous opportunity to curb the excesses of this industry. Also yesterday, The HSUS and a number of other organizational plaintiffs secured a remarkable decision in our legal campaign in the running fight to protect imperiled gray wolves in the Northern Rockies.

Gray wolf
© USFWS

Specifically, The HSUS and other plaintiffs won a decision from U.S. District Court Judge Donald W. Malloy in Helena, Mont. striking down the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s rule delisting gray wolves from the endangered species list in the Northern Rockies, and reinstating federal protection for wolves in the region. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar pushed the same delisting plan that the Bush Administration had done, and that resulted in hundreds of wolves being shot and killed by trophy hunters last fall in Idaho and Montana.

This decision will halt the planned fall hunting seasons in both states, and tens of thousands of hunters will not have an opportunity to pursue and kill wolves in the region.

Together with an HSUS-led courtroom victory over the Service’s attempt to delist wolves in the Great Lakes region last summer, yesterday’s decision means gray wolves are listed under the Endangered Species Act throughout the contiguous United States, and that wolf hunting of this species is now canceled nationwide.

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