MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Every year, gray wolves kill dozens, if not hundreds, of farm animals in Minnesota.
It’s not just wolves — coyotes also known to sometimes prey on livestock for food. But with wolves it’s different: If a coyote is after an animal, a farmer is well within their right to shoot it. Wolves, on the other hand, are federally protected under the Endangered Species Act, which means only government agents can legally kill them unless they’re threatening a human life.
It’s that distinction that prompted the state to create a program years ago that pays livestock producers for the animals they lose to wolves.
In the last decade, the Minnesota Department of Agriculture has paid out an average of $135,000 on about 110 wolf depredation claims each year.