Switzerland: Wolf “hunting” postponed Angry farmers and ranchers

They are angry Swiss farmersthe courts have “put the brakes” on the wolf killing program.

They argue that the proposed cull is vital to protecting their livestock and the future of the alpine.

Environmental groups, for their part, argued that the measure exceeded the limits allowed by law and could destroy the wolf population.

Other European countries are also closely following the issue.

Most, like the Swiss, list wolves as a protected species, but many see their numbers and farmers’ concerns on the rise.

How many wolves are too many?

For most of the 20th century, Europe was virtually free of wolves.

Often seen in terrifying medieval tales, the beast was almost hunted to extinction.

The wolf’s return to Switzerland across the Alps from Italy in the 1990s was initially celebrated as a sign of nature returning to balance after centuries of human predation.

But wolves need food, and farmers in the Swiss highlands soon began to notice that their sheep were disappearing.

Under pressure from ranchers, conservation laws were slightly amended to allow the killing of “problem” wolves—wolves known to attack livestock.

But in a 2020 referendum, voters reaffirmed the animal’s protected status, rejecting proposals to further relax hunting regulations.

Since then, Switzerland’s wolf population has tripled to at least 300, with about 32 packs across the country.

This year, the government approved new measures allowing cantons to cull entire herds.

He also put a quota on the “tolerable” number of wolves. Twelve packs would be fine instead of 32.

Mountain communities responded with relief.

THE Sandro MichaelA representative of the Farmers’ Union in the eastern canton of Grisons says the growing wolf population is putting farmers under great pressure.

“There are currently 14 wolf packs in the canton,” he said.

“We’ve tried fences, sheepdogs, shepherds, but cattle are still being attacked.”

Farmers find dead animals every morning, he told the BBC, while nighttime cameras revealed wolves jumping over fences with ease.

Legal fight

However, the mass killing was met with dismay by wildlife groups and protested by Pro Natura, Switzerland’s oldest environmental group, which complained that it far exceeded the limits allowed by Swiss law.

“There was never any discussion about the quota Natalie Rouge Pro Natura.

“This is a very unscientific and politically motivated limit, science is combined in it.

“That doesn’t take into account the important role the wolf plays.”

It was explained by their role Lucy Wuthrichenvironmental activist has gathered the support of 200 groups and wildlife experts by sending an open letter of protest to the Swiss government.

“Why the monster is useful”

Worms are useful for Europe. Europe needs predators.”

Ms. Wuttrich, an expert on forest diversity, believes the Swiss massacre is “unprecedented in Europe.”

Wolves are an integral part of biodiversity conservation, he says, especially because they hunt deer that destroy forests by destroying young trees:

“In some areas, deer are responsible for changing the species composition of forests.”

Beyond Switzerland, the EU has begun to reassess wolf protection.

Chairman of the European Commission Ursula von der LeyenA wolf killed a pony in Germany in 2022, calling on member states to reconsider the issue of wolves this year, noting that “the concentration of wolf packs in some areas of Europe has become a real threat to animals and possibly people.” .” .

Swiss environmental groups say attacks on animals have not increased as much as the wolf population.

The proof, they claim, is that fences, sheepdogs and shepherds are starting to work.

They urge farmers to follow suit.

So far, Swiss courts have agreed with environmentalists.

For now, the legal battle is going to the appeals court and the murder is still on hold.

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