LEWISTON, Idaho (AP) -- A federal judge has ruled that dogs can be defined as livestock, and that a kennel business can continue to operate on land where federal Wild and Scenic River rules apply.

The ruling filed by U.S. District Judge Edward Lodge settles a 10-year-old dispute and deals a legal blow to the U.S. Forest Service.

The agency argued that the Wild River Kennels, built along the Clearwater River, could not operate because dogs in commercial kennels don't qualify as livestock.

But the kennel property is also subject to an easement under the federal Wild and Scenic Rivers Act that allows "livestock farming"

Lodge initially sided with the government in 2005, but an appeals court overturned his decision.

The Lewiston Tribune reports that Lodge has now ruled that dogs kenneled for profit can be considered livestock.

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Information from: Lewiston Tribune, http://www.lmtribune.com

Copyright 2009 The AP.

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