Why wolves have become a political football in Germany

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The German government is mulling some weighty threats these days, Brexit, US auto tariffs… and wolves. 

Canis lupus lupus, aka the European grey wolf, is back from extinction and into the middle of the political debate. What to do about the rapidly expanding wolf population was on the docket at the Bundestag in Berlin this week.

Wolves were wiped out in Germany in the last century, but legislation to protect them and outlaw their killing in the 1990s, like the EU’s Habitats Directive on Fauna and Flora, paved the way for their gradual return.

Now they’re thriving: the Federal Documentation and Advice Centre on the Wolf (DBBW) estimated that in 2017 there were some 800 wolves in 60 or more packs spread across seven states in Germany. 

The DBBW said recently that wolf attacks on livestock rose by over 65% in 2017 from the year before. Wolves, it said, killed or injured over 1600 livestock, mainly sheep, in 2017. <<<Read More>>>