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Farmers' Anger Over New Wolf Control Plan

posted Mar 17, 2018, 7:53 PM by chloe owens

1/2/2018, French News - The Connexion

Farmers’ anger over new wolf control plan

A controversial new six-year plan intended to protect livestock from wolf attacks while ensuring the survival of the predator has come into force. The farming community has already condemned the 'Plan Loup' (Wolf Plan) for 2018 to 2023, which limits the number of wolves - a species protected by international treaties - that farmers can kill to protect their animals. There are an estimated 400 wolves in France today, just over quarter of a century after the animal returned to the country from Italy. Farmers - especially in the Alps, Jura, the Vosges, the Massif Central and the Pyrénées - regard them as a threat. In 2017, the deaths of more than 11,000 farm animals was blamed wolf attacks. Sheep were by far the most common victims. In 2016, the most recent year for which figures are available, State compensation for livestock lost to wolf attacks amounted to €3.5million. The plan allows farmers to shoot dead 40 wolves this year. From 2019, the figure will be set at 10% of the average annual headcount, though that figure can be increased to 12% if deemed necessary. Under new regulations, compensation for lost livestock depends on farmers implementing protective measures, such as electric fences and guard dogs - which cost the state €22.5million in subsidies in 2016.