France authorises shooting of two wolves

Just this last Monday, the country of France has authorized the shooting of two wolves following attacks on sheep in the southeast part of the country. This is the equivalent of one percent of the surviving population. Around 200 wolves survive in the wild in France, mainly in the southeastern corner of the country but also in the Pyrenees mountains. Local farmers say about 130 sheep have been killed or injured in wolf attacks in the last year. Actually only a few of these attacks have been officially attributed to the wolf, but farmers say coexistence in the area is impossible.

The permit to hunt the wolves started on Monday and will run until September 19th. The decision to order the hunt has been described as a last resort in the effort to protect livestock from the wolves. According to Var prefect Paul Mourier, "We have reached the final stage. The various protection measures and defenses implemented over the past few years have not been enough."

The decision was taken after a recent acceleration in attacks, with an additional 72 sheep taken in an attack last Friday. The orders can be issued when local conservation officials judge that attacks on livestock have reached a threshold which makes it necessary to reduce numbers of the predators.

Var is in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region in the south-east corner of France. Var is the second area to recently allow a wolf hunt, following a decision by the prefecture of the Hautes-Alpes after similar attacks in 2012. Although some 99 percent of the attacks in the Var have taken place in Canjuers, the hunt has also been allowed in the municipalities of d'Aiguines, Chateaudouble, Comps-sur-Artuby, La Roque Esclapon, Montferrat and Mons et Seillans.

The Cevennes mountains of Lozère in the southern Auvergne, located in southern France is the home of Roquefort cheese and also a "political" reason behind authorized wolf kills. It is obvious that sheep farmers there resent the fact that they feel that they cannot allow their sheep to roam due to the return of the wolf. Roquefort farmers warn the future of the cheese could now be in jeopardy as they will no longer be able to respect the appellation's strict rules on allowing their sheep to graze freely. These rules stipulate that it is compulsory for sheep to roam on the hilly pastures every day provided there is sufficient grass and weather conditions permitting. Under a "wolf code" established in 2004, these wolves can be shot legally only by licensed "wolf lieutenants" or government marksmen.

Environmentalists and animal rights groups are very critical of the policy of authorizing what are effectively mini-culls of a protected species. They argue that these policies exist purely to placate a farming lobby which is prone to exaggerating the damage done by wolves. France's wolf population has grown to around 200 wolves since being re-introduced in 1992, but there has been only six wolves that have been legally hunted since 2004.

Responses to "Wolf kills authorized in southern France to appease sheep and Roquefort cheese farmers"

  1. Anonymous says:

    I really do not like this. :-(

  2. Anonymous says:

    Honteux !!! Foutez leurs donc la paix bordel .

  3. Anonymous says:

    with such a few wolves left in the wild in the area ! They should not be killed because of sheep farmers . They should be protected and find a way that both can coexist in the region without having wolf hunts !

  4. Unknown says:

    Those french, they should think of a better and real solution..... why don´t they just make better fences?? it´s just a stupid solution, there are very few wolves in the world and they want to kill them!!!

    - WhiteWolf

  5. Anonymous says:

    I won't be eating this cheese anymore!!!

  6. Anonymous says:

    Why don't they use guardian dogs to protect their livestock? These dogs have proven to successfully deter wolves, mountain lions and cheetahs in the areas that they are used without loss of life, human or animal.

  7. Anonymous says:

    asses don't kill the wolves

  8. Anonymous says:

    Sheep farmers...Get you a good shepherd. !!!!

  9. Anonymous says:

    Roquefort is in southwest of France and not in southeast where two poor wolves have been killed .So, stop !I'm French and iknow my coutry and peoplewho leaves in.We are not all cruel and crazy in France.Ilove wolvesand don't agree with this decision

  10. Anonymous says:

    Two suggestions for the farmers: get Great Pyrenees dogs to stay with the sheep; they will keep all predators away. Secondly, if their blasted cheese is so important to them, hire human shepherds as well to oversee their herds. Killing the wolves is a ridiculous and extreme measure to a problem that can be easily solved! - Kathy Niell

  11. Anonymous says:

    Il doit exister une autre Facon de protéger tes Brebis.Per Exemple de meilleurs Clótures,Chiens de Garde et de Bergers qui restent vingt-quatre Heures chez le Mouton.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Thats plainly bullshit. THus far they aint been a prob n suddenly they are? Bullshit i say.

  13. Paulie H says:

    What Idiots the French are . there are many more sheep than wolves in the world As far as the Cheeseheads are concerned Wolves don't eat cheese you knucklheads . No wonder they got their asses whipped in WWII

  14. Paulie H says:

    Wolves are Precious and an important part of the ecosystem

  15. I met one of these on a walk in France. A beautiful animal.

Write a comment