Oregon wildlife officials could be asked to target and kill several wolves that have been preying on cattle near the Canadian border, state officials said.
Under an agreement between state wildlife officials, the Oregon Cattlemen's Association, two conservation groups and Gov. John Kitzhaber, local cattle farmers can petition the state to target and kill problem wolves if the canines habitually attack cattle despite farmers' precautions and preventive measures.
The state has tracked at least 47 wolves roaming northern Oregon in four packs. Farmers in Wallowa County, have seen a number of cattle killed in grazing fields and a check of radio collars shows a wolf in the area on several occasions, The (Portland) Oregonian said Saturday.
Under the agreement, now two years old, Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife representatives said cattle ranchers must have taken preventive measures to protect their cattle against a wolf attack -- including employing guard dogs, increased human patrols in the area and hanging fabric that scares off wolves -- before they can petition the state to issue a kill order as a last result.