Letter to the Editor

Comments for the Predator Working Group


Good morning,

Thank you for your time today. Here are my comments for the Predator Working Group meeting on June 25:

I urge the board to add a non-consumptive member, such as Wyoming Untrapped or Wyoming Wildlife Advocates, to provide valuable insights. Wyoming, with 48 percent federal public lands, does not own these lands, and any other view misinterprets the law. Given Wyoming’s status as a tax haven for billionaires, charging state taxes could offer more leverage.

Please recommend the legislature include predatory animals, trophy game animals, and all wildlife in the animal cruelty statutes (SF0026). Predators deserve a humane death. Ban cruel methods like chasing, maiming, killing by crushing (illegal under the PACT Act), using motorized vehicles, and employing harmful chemicals to torture, maim, or prolong death. These thrill-killing methods are unethical and concerning to the public.

Create a statute making it illegal to expose children to animal cruelty, including eliminating predator management from school curricula. Define fair chase and hunter ethics to eliminate cruel hunting practices like using hounds, laser sights, wire snares, and the abolition of the predator zone.” These acts are forms of ‘entertainment’ for thrill killers, demonstrating extreme cruelty to animals. Introduce a hunting license and hunter education requirement for predators.

Article 3 lists predatory animals such as coyotes, jackrabbits, porcupines, raccoons, red foxes, skunks, stray cats, and wolves. Ecologically, leaving these animals alone balances their populations. Coyotes would control other species, raccoons manage red foxes, and wolves regulate coyotes. Wolves can also address the overpopulation of fed elk on private lands, as predicted by biologists.

The 2023 Wyoming Animal Damage Management Board reported only 41 livestock losses in the predator zone, amounting to 0.0027 percent of the cattle there, yet 12 wolves were killed at a cost of over $35,000. Most permittees graze on the eastern side of the state, away from most wolves. Efforts to eliminate coyotes are counterproductive as they breed more vigorously in response.

Grazing on public lands is a significant issue. Only 2 percent of grazing occurs on public lands, yet cattle production was down 2 percent last year without a major impact. Move livestock off public lands. Most prime beef cuts are exported, and Wyoming produces only 1.45 percent of US cattle. States like California manage wolves without significant issues. Ranchers should hire cowboys and train livestock guardian dogs to protect their herds.

I’m appalled by the federal tax subsidies paid to the livestock industry and predator elimination programs, amounting to billions of taxpayer dollars.

Thank you for your consideration.

Christina Anthes, Adin, Calif.