The Idaho Fish and Game Commission has adopted a regulation requiring the registration and tattooing of captive wolves.
But commission members meeting Friday in Salmon said they were unsure how it will be enforced.The measure approved by the 1988 Legislature requires owners of any canine with "primary wolf characteristics" to license the animal, said Tom Reinecker, chief of the Department of Fish and Game's wildlife bureau.
A wolf, according to the bill, has fur which is "long and coarse, from white to black, but is generally grayish, resembling a coyote."
The animal would weigh at least 80 pounds, have long legs and eyes that "shine greenish-orange.'
Reinecker said the measure was pushed by Sen. Lynn Tominaga, R-Paul and Sen. Ron Beitelspacher, D-Grangeville.
The regulation also requires any animal identified as a wolf be tattooed by a veterinarian. The penalty for not complying is $1,000, Reinecker said.
But Commission Chairman Richard Hansen of Bayview, who along with Commissioner Norm Guth of Salmon, voted against the proposed regulation, said the characteristics listed in the law could apply to a German shepherd dog.
"This is not an exact science," Reinecker said. "We will have to use a lot of judgment in this."
The bill was supported by the timber and mining industries, which feared someone could release a wolf-like animal and stop logging or mining activity while state officials try to determine if an endangered species lives in the area.