Bill aims to make cougar-hunting program permanent

Washington lawmakers want to make permanent a pilot program that allows the use of hounds in cougar-hunting. However, voters in 1996 passed an initiative banning the use of dogs, except in public safety or livestock depredation instances, on the grounds that it was “cruel and inhumane.” The bill’s supporters – Fish & Wildlife – say dogs help control for healthier, stable cougar populations, but its opponents say this is just an excuse for more sport hunting.

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