U.S. House lifts restrictions on predator hunting in Alaska refuges

On Thursday (Feb. 16), the U.S. House approved a bill to lift Obama administration restrictions on hunting and trapping of bears, wolves and other predators on federal wildlife refuges in Alaska.

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The Fish and Wildlife Service said last year the rule will help maintain sustainable populations of bears, wolves and coyotes on national wildlife refuges across the state.

Alaska Congressman Don Young said the rule undermines Alaska’s ability to manage wildlife on refuge lands- one-fifth of its land mass. He said the regulation violates the Statehood Act, which gives Alaska the right to manage fish and game.

The Humane Society of the United States has been running ads against Young’s repeal bill. They say the rule prevents animal cruelty by banning practices such as killing bears and wolves in their dens and using large leghold traps.

The measure was approved on a 225-193 vote. It goes now to the Senate.