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Hunters join animal rights' groups in lawsuit to ban use of dogs in wolf hunt


MADISON, WI (WTAQ) - Over a dozen Wisconsin hunters have joined animal rights’ groups in a lawsuit that seeks to permanently ban the use of dogs by wolf hunters.

Dane County Circuit Judge Peter Anderson has temporarily banned dogs that help hunters track down wolves. And he’ll hold a hearing next month to consider a permanent ban – as well as an opposing effort by the state DNR to drop the lawsuit altogether.

But it could all be a moot point by then, at least for this season. The DNR says 73 wolves have already been shot since the hunt began October 15th – and at the current pace, hunters will reach their quota of 116 before the December 20th court hearing.

And that means the season would close long before its scheduled ending date of February 28th.

The plaintiffs in the lawsuit – that include over 40 state humane societies – says the DNR should draft rules about the training of dogs before the wolf hunt, as well as their usage during the season.

Without those rules, they claim that wolves and dogs could engage in fights, with dogs coming up on the short end.

Some of the hunters who joined the lawsuit fear that the dogs will interfere with Wisconsin’s other hunting seasons which take place at the same time – including the deer hunt.