Officials in Southern California have a reversed an earlier ruling on mountain lions that killed pets and livestock. Previously, any rancher who had a pet or farm animal killed by the big cats could hunt them, but now officials have decided that’s just too easy and makes way too much sense.

Now, the process is more complicated.

Mountain lions that kill pets and livestock in Southern California will no longer be automatically targeted for death.

The state Department of Fish and Wildlife is changing the policy that granted ranchers and others automatic depredation permits for marauding cats. Now, the applicant must first try nonlethal methods to scare away or keep out the cougar, the Sacramento Bee reported Wednesday.

A permit would be issued only after two nonlethal attempts.

The policy applies to the Santa Monica and Santa Ana mountain ranges in Southern California, where small and genetically isolated populations of cougars are hemmed in by freeways and are at risk of dying out.

California issues more than 200 depredation permits a year, although typically fewer than half result in kills, the Bee reported. However, in the Santa Ana ranges, a 13-year study showed that more than a quarter of the cougars were killed from depredation permits, the paper said.

The policy came under fire in 2016 after a Malibu rancher received a permit to shoot a mountain lion that had killed nearly a dozen alpacas. The 150-pound cat was believed to be a radio-tagged male dubbed P-45.

Animal lovers flooded the Facebook page of the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area after the kill permit was issued.

Because wild predators who attack and kill livestock and pets are obviously more important that people’s businesses or animals that are essentially members of the family.

And people wonder why California is the butt of so many jokes.

Look, I don’t want to see any species go extinct. I don’t. But I also don’t want to see people have to jump through hoops just to protect what’s theirs. That’s beyond stupid.

Yet that’s the rule now in California. That’s what ranchers and others in rural California, at least in those two mountain ranges, will have to contend with going forward. They’ll lose animals, have to go through supposed nonlethal attempts to capture the animal, and when those fail, then they get to go after a dangerous predator.

It’s enough to make you wonder why anyone stays in that state. Don’t get me wrong, I get it. It’s not as easy to pick up stakes and relocate to somewhere without all the wild derp running around. Yet stuff like this, this penny-ante crap that will wear anyone down over a long enough timeline that makes it clear that people don’t matter, that makes me wonder at what point does the state finally cross the line and trigger a mass exodus from the state.

But, I guess it’s like the old bit about boiling a frog by slowly heating up the water. Take it slow and folks won’t even notice.