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Conservationists Win Ruling In Nevada Wildlife Killing Suit

RENO, Nev. (AP) — A U.S. appeals court has breathed new life into a conservation group's legal battle in Nevada aimed at shutting down a Depression-era government program that spends more than $100 million a year to subsidize the killing of predators that threaten livestock.

The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals panel recently overturned a 2013 ruling by a federal judge in Reno who threw out most of the lawsuit filed by the Colorado-based WildEarth Guardians.

The lawsuit claims the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Wildlife Services is acting illegally because it relies on scientific and environmental data that is decades old. They want the program suspended until the underlying data is more current.

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Judge Miranda Du had concluded the harm cited by the conservationists would not be alleviated by halting the operations in Nevada because the state has said it would carry out the killings of coyotes, mountain lions, ravens and other predators itself.