After wolves tears it should be easier in the future to shoot down the predators in the region. The Federal Cabinet approved on Wednesday in Berlin a bill by Environment Minister Svenja Schulze (SPD), which allows the shooting of wolves even if it is unclear which animal has attacked exactly the example of the herd of sheep. It can be shot as long as wolves, until there is no more damage, even if a whole wolf pack is killed. The authorities must approve each case, there are time and space limits. Agriculture Minister Julia Klöckner (CDU) stated that she considered the measures insufficient.
The plans envisage that future “serious” damage to the defense sufficient. They no longer have to be “significant”. The feeding and attracting of wild wolves should be expressly forbidden, so that they do not get used to the proximity of humans. Mongrels from wolf and dog, so-called hybrids, are to be shot.
Klöchkner does not go far enough to design
Agriculture Minister Klöckner said that in view of the “rapidly increasing wolf population and the resulting increase in livestock tears”, her ministry considers further steps to be necessary. It wants to “allow the removal of a limited and officially specified number of wolves under strict control, selectively and to a limited extent”, even if there was no damage to livestock – that is, the launch should also be made possible preventively, not only in response to damage , Changes could now come in parliamentary procedure, said the Ministry of Agriculture.
In Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt and Brandenburg, the strictly protected wolves have spread strongly. Upper Lusatia in East Saxony, for example, is one of the most wolves-populated areas in Europe. For years, there has been a dispute between countries and the federal government, animal owners and animal rights activists about how to deal with the fact that wolves are tearing more and more sheep and other livestock.
“This is a tremendous relief for us”
The Federal Government's plans to simplify the shooting down of conspicuous wolves are met with approval by professional shepherds. “This is a tremendous relief for us,” said Chairman of the Federal Association Berufsschäfer, Günther Czerkus, the German Press Agency. “That will bring the launch of problem wolves significantly forward.” The policy draws on the bill, which is currently legally possible.
Environment Minister Svenja Schulze (SPD) and Minister of Agriculture Julia Klöckner (CDU) had argued over the bill for months, most recently the Chancellery had mediated. Wolves have spread in Germany since the turn of the millennium and repeatedly attack sheep and other livestock.
Not hunter of the wolf, but keeper of the sheep
“We shepherds do not understand us as hunters of wolves, but as keepers of our sheep,” emphasized Czerkus. To protect the animals, it also means that wolves “who do not abide by the rules of the game” would have to be shot.
Czerku also sees progress in preventing damage, but he wants more speed in the political implementation. The EU has allowed shepherds to receive full protection, such as electric fences, which would be required because of the return of the wolves, he said. This must now be implemented in national law. “We are satisfied with the overall development, we are just impatient with regard to our animals.”
Wolves should be trained to stay away from humans and animals
To make the juxtaposition of wolves and humans as free of conflict as possible, scientists advocate to deter the animals. Wildlife biologist Marco Heurich from the University of Freiburg was involved in a study. One possibility is therefore collars that give the animals electric shocks as soon as they come near herds, or rubber bullets.
“The aim of this method is to train the animals, to keep away from humans and livestock,” says Heurich the German Press Agency. These methods have not been conclusively investigated, but there have already been promising experiences in the USA.
Also people must be made clear that they should not approach wolves, so that the animals do not get used to them, said Heurich. He praised therefore that it should be prohibited with the planned amendment of the Federal Nature Conservation Act, to feed or attract the animals.
After shooting wolves: Attack on farm animals could increase
Criticism came from the environmental organization BUND. The change also “weakened through the back door” and the protection of other species of kingfisher to otters, said CEO Olaf Bandt. After cracking “just suspicion” to shoot down the whole pack, could not be a solution. Attacks on farm animals can even increase if the pack structure is destroyed, foreign wolves immigrated or young wolves without parent animals must hunt food.
The German Hunting Association (DJV) welcomed the bill as a step in the right direction, but misses a comprehensive concept of action. The German Farmers' Association, in which sheep farmers are also organized, also criticized the draft – it wants to prevent wolves from settling in regions with a high level of pastoral animal husbandry. So-called wolf-free zones are rejected in the Ministry of the Environment – and they are not feasible, because the animals travel long distances.