Washington state has over a million cattle and approximately 120 wolves, Fahy added. Last year, because of similar complaints from ranchers, Washington decided to kill the entire Profanity Peak wolf pack. Fahy pointed out that the very presence of so many cattle on public lands displaces many of the native species, like deer and elk, that wolves hunt naturally, causing conflict in the first place. Now the Smackout pack will be the next to suffer the consequences.
"The wolves have young pups and are not able to travel great distances for food," Fahy said. "Their only choice then is to prey on livestock ... To give cattle priority over the recovering wolf population is the definition of insanity."