SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) — Eight conservation groups are complaining that it is too easy to kill wolves that attack livestock in Washington state. The groups recently filed a petition asking the state Department of Fish and Wildlife to require livestock producers to exhaust nonlethal measures to prevent wolf depredations before any wolves are killed.

The major impetus for the petition occurred in 2012, when Fish and Wildlife killed seven wolves in the Wedge Pack in northeastern Washington after they started preying on livestock. The conservation groups contend the rancher in that case made little effort to protect his animals from wolves.