Clarifying the Media Claims of French Farmers Being Able to More Easily Kill Wolves

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Recently one media report made certain claims about new rules that regulate the ability of livestock owners and farmers to kill wolves that are attacking livestock and/or destroying private property. Among the issues discussed were:

1. “Under new rules, a farmer can legally kill a wolf, even in zones where it is officially protected, if it is attacking livestock.”

2. “A recent regulation stipulating that a maximum of 24 wolves may be killed over a twelve month period, remains in place.”

3. “They [wolves] are thought to have killed more than 6000 animals in 2013, according to Ecology Ministry figures.”

It was decided by members of the Wolf Education International (WEI) staff to offer corrections and clarifications to this report and to increase readers’ knowledge of facts by presenting more information about wolves in Europe and the effects they have on people who live there.

In France, there is a “consultative” or “advisory” stakeholder’s committee – the “National Wolf Group” – a masquerade organized by the government; including trade unions, NGOs(non governmental organizations) and state organizations.

A national “wolf plan” is discussed and decided every 4 years.

Last year, the new plan (2013-2017) was published with many new and major changes, in accordance with the derogation provided by article 16 in the EU “Habitats Directive” and article 9 in the Bern Convention (edited 8/4/2014 as it was confirmed that this statement is accurate)… due to the amount of wolf attacks in spite of sophisticated protection methods.

Under certain (“graduating”) circumstances and rules and regulations, permission was given to breeders to shoot wolves around their flocks in 2013 .. day and night, all year round and even up to 10 hunters around a flock at a time.

This was an incredible major step as the French cannot use or carry arms outside the hunting season .. and never, ever is night hunting permitted.

Then once again, under certain circumstances, hunters were permitted to shoot wolves during group big game hunting (wild boar) but the prefectoral decrees were constantly attacked by the pro-wolf NGOs and conveniently suspended.

On top of this, as has been the case for several years, the authorities can organize hunts and enroll some 100 – 150 hunters to help them remove a wolf! (most times to no avail).

In 2013, permission was given through the “wolf plan” to kill 24 wolves (a supposed 10% of the population) – but only 8 wolves were successfully removed (“officially” … as many were poisoned and pups even removed from their dens).

This year they have announced 36 …

The “wolf plan” has once again provided for hunters to be allowed to kill during big game group hunting in 2014 and even while hunting alone .. up to 36 wolves but in certain areas only …until the NGOs manage no doubt to suspend the decrees again ..

So what’s the big difference this year ?
What’s all the noise about ?
Mainly .. the medias …

The medias are relating the situation more and more which is having an impact on the general public .. and the politicians!

It’s becoming more and more politically correct to be on the shepherds’ side (77 deputies + many mayors), though they are careful “as you never know, the wind may turn” (!).

This does not engage their responsibilities in any case as they hide behind the European Commission restrictions (Bern Convention and the EU Habitats Directive), saying, “we’re doing our best, we’re on your side but we have to comply to the EU regulations” … or when they are in opposition, “what the hell is this government doing?”

So, Ségolène Royale making statements on the shepherds’ side is just political .. she has not brought anything new to the system that was decided and already in place.

BUT it’s a perfect political thermometer ..and it’s better than the other way round (!)

also .. Ségolène Royal is known to be very stubborn and has pushed a little further, even by saying that she is against the reintroduction of bears, “if ever I have to choose between predators or pastoralism, I’ll choose pastoralism” …

Now the pro-wolves with their powerful NGOs are on the war path .. demanding that she resign ..

More Information About Wolf Hunts in France:

These are 2 articles, including a short video, concerning a hunt on Monday after 200 attacks in one department – this is one of the hunts organized regularly by the authorities and hunters …

As most often, they didn’t even see the end of a tail disappearing into the bushes .. the pack had moved further on to let them play ..last year they managed to remove 6 wolves in that one region .. and there are now more attacks than ever (!)

REPORT: How Hunters and Breeders Wolf Hound (this report is in the French language)
REPORT: How Hunters and Breeders Wolf Hound (this report has been translated to English with Google Translate)

Tende: Roya Valley: Beaten after the prefectural authorization to take the wolf (this report is in the original French language.)
Tende: Roya Valley: Beaten after the prefectural authorization to take the wolf (this report has been translated to English using Google Translate.)

Another statement that was made in the media report linked to above was: “They are thought to have killed more than 6000 animals in 2013, according to Ecology Ministry figures.”

Officially, in 2013, there were 6,161 sheep killed by an official count of 250 wolves, at a cost of 15 million Euros($20 million USD) or 60,000 Euros($80,000 USD) per wolf.

Will Graves, author, researcher, writer and contributor to WEI made the following comment about the 6,000-plus number of sheep killed by 250 wolves:

“Over 6,000 sheep killed in 2013 in one year, official count, is too high a number “to ignore.” That could be called a “wolf tax.” Action must be taken to reduce this number. That number, 6,000, does nor include injured sheep, and just think of the stress that must have caused – to the sheep and to the herders and sheep owners.

“In all my research about Russian wolves, I do not remember one example where non-lethel efforts were successful. The killing could be cut back by cutting back on the number of wolves. That usually meant taking the local wolf population down by at least 50 %.”

And in response, one livestock breeder from France replied, “But as the LCIE/UICN themselves admit, if you bring the numbers down too much they will hybridize with dogs! The only solution is to eliminate them completely from settled landscapes and pastoral zones. And regulate them severely in any other areas. Which for France means getting rid of them completely !”