Dispute Over Gray Wolf Killing Is Moot, Court Says

     WASHINGTON (CN) – The gray wolf’s removal from the endangered and threatened species lists has rendered moot a district court decision protecting the animal, the D.C. Circuit ruled.

     The Humane Society of the United States sued U.S. Secretary of the Interior Dirk Kempthorne, seeking to prevent the Fish and Wildlife Service from killing gray wolves for depredation purposes.
     When the gray wolf was under protection, it exceeded its recovery goals and started eating livestock and other domestic animals. The FWS started the depredation control program to prevent livestock farmers from killing the wolves indiscriminately.
     The district court had enjoined the agency from taking the gray wolves for depredation purposes, but Judge Henderson said the decision became moot when the Department of Interior took the gray wolf off the species protection lists.
     The Humane Society argued that the mootness was caused by the government’s own action, but Henderson ruled that department did not manipulate the court with its decision.

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