Bill targeting wolf-recovery program passes House

PHOENIX - The Arizona House of Representatives has approved a Senate bill allowing ranchers to kill endangered wolves in self-defense.

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

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

A separate bill approved by both chambers sets up a reimbursement fund for ranchers who lose cattle to wolves. It stills final action.

Proponents say the federal government is overstepping its boundaries with its wolf-recovery program in Arizona and New Mexico.

The House approved the measure on a 37-23 vote Wednesday. It now returns to the Senate for transmittal to the governor.

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