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PHOENIX -- The Arizona Senate has approved a bill that allows livestock owners to shoot wolves protected by federal regulations if the wolf is attacking other animals.

Senate Bill 1211 passed by an 18-12 vote on Monday.

The bill sponsored by Republican Sen. Gail Griffin of Hereford allows livestock owners and employees of the Arizona Department of Agriculture to shoot a wolf that is endangering a person or animal. That includes Mexican wolves.

Mexican wolves are considered endangered species. Griffin's bill is a push-back against a federal program that aims to increase the wolves' population in Arizona and other states. Opponents of the bill say it is unnecessary because there are only 33 Mexican wolves in both Arizona and New Mexico.

The bill will now go to the House of Representatives.

Associated Press,

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