LA GRANDE, Ore. (AP) -- Five ranchers in northeastern Oregon have permits to shoot wolves if they see the animals attacking their livestock.

The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife issued the permits after confirming that wolves killed two calves in Wallowa County this month.

Rancher Todd Nash told The Observer newspaper that he found a 150-pound calf that had been killed and eaten last week.

Conservation groups objected to the permits, saying not enough has been done with non-lethal means yet to justify this step.

Wolves have been spreading through Oregon since crossing into the state from Idaho, where they were re-established by the federal government in the 1990s.

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Information from: The (La Grande) Observer, http://www.lagrandeobserver.com/

Copyright 2010 The AP.

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