Minnesota House narrowly votes to ban wolf hunting for sport

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Wyoming Wolves_1556662321636

FILE – This July 16, 2004, file photo, shows a gray wolf at the Wildlife Science Center in Forest Lake, Minn. Hunters killed 76 wolves during Wyoming’s first season for legally hunting wolves since 2013 after the state won back the authority to manage the animals. (AP Photo/Dawn Villella, File)

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — The Minnesota House has voted narrowly to ban a resumption of wolf hunting for sport in Minnesota.

The vote was 66-65 Tuesday on an amendment to a broader environment and natural resources funding bill.

The federal government announced plans in March to lift protections for wolves and return management to the states. Minnesota held three wolf seasons before a judge in 2014 returned the animals to the federal threatened list.

Rep. Peter Fischer, of Maplewood, said wolves deserve continued protections from recreational hunting, but that his amendment would allow for hunting and trapping wolves that prey on livestock.

But opponents said Minnesota’s wolf population has recovered and needs to be controlled to protect pets and livestock.

Attempts in recent years to ban wolf hunting in Minnesota have stalled in committee.

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