German government OKs plan to shoot protected wolves

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BERLIN (AP) — The German government wants to relax rules against shooting wolves if the animals kill sheep or other livestock.

Wolves are an endangered species in Germany and they had largely been protected from being hunted, to the annoyance of farmers who claim they are causing widespread damage to herds.

Cabinet agreed Wednesday on a bill that will allow wolves to be killed even if it's unclear which member of a pack was responsible for the killing of a farm animal.

Germany's agriculture minister had also wanted the option of shooting wolves as a precautionary measure, a move the environment ministry opposed.

Parliament can amend the bill before it is passed.

According to official figures, there were 75 wolf packs, 30 breeding pairs and 3 lone wolves in the country last year.

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