Bill targets federal wolf-recovery program

PHOENIX - The Arizona House of Representatives has given initial approval to a Senate bill that would allow ranchers to kill endangered wolves in self-defense.

Senate Bill 1211 would allow livestock owners to kill a Mexican wolf if one was caught attacking livestock or a person.

Wildlife activists say the bill violates the federal Endangered Species Act. But the bill has been watered down and now meets constitutional requirements, a staff attorney says.

The House has approved a similar bill that is now making its way through the Senate. Proponents say the federal government is overstepping its boundaries with its wolf-recovery program which spans several states. There are 83 Mexican wolves in both Arizona and New Mexico.

The House still has to cast a final vote on the bill.

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