A state commission has approved the killing of gray wolves that are caught in the act of attacking livestock or pets.
The state Fish and Wildlife Commission on Friday approved a temporary emergency rule allowing pet and livestock owners to immediately kill one wolf if it is attacking their property.
Commissioners voted unanimously for the rule, noting there have been recent and escalating reports of wolf attacks on pets and livestock.
Wolf numbers have grown rapidly in Washington in recent years as the animals migrate into the state from other states.
The commission's emergency rule can remain in effect for up to eight months. The commission also decided it will pursue a permanent rule allowing the killing of a wolf caught in the act of attacking livestock or pets.