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A sheep is worth as much as a wolf

“The number of wolves has risen significantly in recent decades and the number of attacks on livestock herds is increasing rapidly. This has become a growing challenge for many livestock farmers in relevant protected areas, which is why we need to adapt the protection status of large predators”, comments ECR Shadow Rapporteur Bert-Jan Ruissen (Netherlands), on the adoption of a resolution calling on the European Parliament to update the 30-year-old annexes of the Habitats Directive.

Accordingly, the level of protection should be lowered from “strict protection” to simple “protection”. MEPs also want the EU-wide population across borders to be better taken into account, monitoring to be improved and damage to be compensated.

Ruissen’s Italian Group colleague Pietro Fiocchi, ECR Deputy Coordinator in the Environment Committee, together with the well-known mountaineer Reinhold Messner and the Agriculture coordinators of the EPP, Herbert Dorfmann and S&D, Paolo De Castro had explained the views of alpine farmers in a letter to the Commission at the beginning of October and pointed out the special challenges to traditional farming culture in mountain areas.

In the letter, they stated:

“The new classification would allow Member States and regions to better organise their policies for managing the conflict between human communities and wolves, and to consider more effectively and efficiently the strategies for removing wolves from livestock farms.

“In fact, we are convinced that coexistence with wolves is a possibility as long as they do not cause great harm. At present, however, the damage to livestock farms has become truly unsustainable, to the extent that we must exclaim that ‘a sheep is worth as much as a wolf, and certainly not less!”

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