The German government on Wednesday relaxed rules on culling wolves, as the population of the predator has grown since returning to the country two decades ago. After a emotional debate pitting environmental against farming concerns, the government decided that wolves can now be shot if they cause "serious damage" to livestock farmers.

In cases of repeated attacks against sheep flocks or cattle herds, individuals can be hunted down even if it is unclear which animal in a pack was responsible.

Previously, wolves could only be culled if they were deemed to spell a real threat to human lives.

A ban has also been imposed on feeding wolves, so as not to encourage the wild animal from shifting closer to human habitations for food.

The environment ministry estimates that there are currently 400 wolves in Germany, while the German Hunters' Association believes the population is more than 1,000 strong.

There have been no confirmed wolf attacks on humans since the animals returned to Germany from Poland in 2000 after a 150-year hiatus.

But livestock farmers have complained of attacks especially on sheep.

The far-right Alternative for Germany party has seized on the issues, particularly in their eastern stronghold state Saxony, urging wolf culls to control their population numbers.

With three major state elections due in the autumn in eastern Germany including in Saxony, Chancellor Angela Merkel's CDU party has now also backed the tougher stance against the wolf.

Responses to "German cabinet approves bill to shoot protected wolves"

  1. Anonymous says:

    shame ... you should know better, you do have the responsibility to look for friendly answers to the problem ... Planet and Nature do not owe us anything in contrary we do! Sad to say, but human beings do not deserve this beautiful planet

  2. Anonymous says:

    It's great to give the news and keep everyone updated on what is going on with our beautiful wolves but getting on here or social media and complaining and telling off the Germans on a page that they will never see does no good. Until people really start to make their voices heard to the people who can actually make changes then nothing is going to happen. People need to be willing to get out there and send out letters and emails and sign petitions and actually DO something other than complain on a page that will do nothing to help the wolves that are in danger.

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