The actress helps intensify the debate over killing wolves and bears in Alaska

By Paul Chi
February 09, 2009 11:55 AM
UPI Photo/Landov; Jemal Countess/WireImage

And so the feud continues.

Ashley Judd once again criticized Sarah Palin for supporting the practice of aerial wolf and bear killings in Alaska, calling the governor’s program a “distortion” and “incredibly savage.”

“It’s her pet project,” Judd, 40, told CNN’s Larry King as she took her fight to stop the killing of wildlife to TV along with the environmental advocacy group Defenders of Wildlife’s CEO Rodger Schlickeisen.

“She promotes the brutal aerial killing of wolves,” said the actress. “It is not ethical, it is not appropriate, it doesn’t make sense on any level.”

This is the second time Judd has criticized Palin, having voiced her opinion last week in an Internet video for Defenders of Wildlife. In it, she condemned Alaska’s predator hunting control program.

In response to the video, Palin released a statement defending the program as scientifically based and an important tool to sustain moose and caribou populations for Alaska subsistence hunters.

“The ad campaign by this extreme fringe group, as Alaskans have witnessed over the last several years, distorts the facts about Alaska’s wildlife management programs,” said Palin. “Alaskans depend on wildlife for food and cultural practices, which can’t be sustained when predators are allowed to decimate moose and caribou populations. Shame on the Defenders of Wildlife for twisting the truth.”

Countering the Palin statement, Judd said, “I find particularly galling in the governor’s statement that somehow this is interfering with poor rural Alaskan’s ability to subsistence hunt. That is a distortion. What is really important is to maintain a healthy and natural ecological balance between predators and prey.”

Judd, an animal activist, says she became passionate with wolves through her racecar driver husband Dario Franchitti’s recreation in flying but says the killing of wildlife through recreation sports is not acceptable.

“Allowing wealthy humans, primarily urban hunters or those who are bounty hunters from out of state, to go to Alaska and for sport, hire airplanes, hire private pilots to fly around and kill wolves in this incredibly savage manner, it’s not right.”