Judge won't halt sea lion killings

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PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — A federal judge has rejected a request to halt the killing of California sea lions that eat protected salmon at Bonneville Dam on the Columbia River.

The Humane Society of the United States wanted to stop the lethal injections while its suit against the practice works its way through the courts.

Judge Michael Simon had said the request faced difficult tests in such legal circumstances. The Oregonian reports (http://bit.ly/LK0oJ6) he ruled Wednesday it didn't pass the tests.

Eleven California sea lions were trapped and killed this spring. Another was sent to an aquarium. The rest have largely returned to their oceanic breeding grounds after the spring fish run.

Simon has said he wants to rule on the suit itself before the sea lions return next year.