In a June 2, 2008 file photo actress Ashley Judd appears on the NBC "Today" television program in New York. Judd appears in a new Internet video for Defenders of Wildlife, and targets not only Alaska's practice of killing wolves and bears from airplanes but also one of the program's chief supporters, Gov. Sarah Palin. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

 

Wildlife group, Ashley Judd take aim at Gov. Palin

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — An animal rights group is getting help from actress Ashley Judd in its campaign to try to stop Alaska's practice of killing wolves and bears from airplanes.

Judd appears in a new Internet video for Defenders of Wildlife, and targets not only the state's predator control program but also one of the program's chief supporters, Gov. Sarah Palin.

"It's time to stop Sarah Palin and stop this senseless savagery," Judd says in the video posted on a Web site operated by the political arm of the group, Defenders of Wildlife Action Fund.

Palin, the former Republican vice presidential candidate, countered that the program is scientifically based and an important tool to sustain moose and caribou populations for Alaska subsistence hunters.

In Alaska, private citizens are permitted to shoot wolves from the air or conduct land-and-shoot hunting of wolves in rural areas. Defenders of Wildlife says more than 800 wolves have been killed since the program began almost five years ago.

Along with Judd's videotaped segment, the animal rights group asks for donations to help end the predator control program, possibly through federal legislation.

Palin said it was "reprehensible and hypocritical" that the group would use the state and her administration as a fundraising tool.

It's not the first time Defenders of Wildlife has targeted Palin. Last fall, when Palin was John McCain's running mate, it ran ads in several states denouncing Palin and the predator control program, and raised more than $1 million. Judd had campaigned for President Barack Obama during the campaign.

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