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Judge Rejects Request for Halt to Wolf Control in Alaska

KTVA / CBS / Associated Press / January 31, 2006

Superior Court Judge Sharon Gleason has denied a request by an animal rights group to immediately halt the state's wolf-killing program.

Gleason says the state Board of Game acted properly in adopting emergency regulations last week that make wolf-killing conform to state law. Wolf control is aimed at reducing predators to increase game populations. Gleason says the state made a compelling argument that its multi-year program to reduce predators in affected game units would be harmed by going through the normal adoption of regulations.

That would have kept airborne shooting teams out of the skies at least through February, March and part of April. Those are considered the prime time for finding and killing wolves.

The animals rights group Friends of Animals says the board should have used standard procedures -- including taking public testimony -- in adopting new wolf-killing regulations.

Gleason rejected that argument. She says there has been a long record of public testimony on the program. And she says new regulations don't expand the program. Gleason on January 17th ruled that the wolf control program was illegal.

Among the judge's concerns were the Game Board's failure to provide required justification for the program.

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