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Germany's Worsening Wolf Problem: Farmers Call for Cull as Their Sheep are Savaged

posted Nov 10, 2017, 5:25 PM by chloe owens

10/6/17, by Tony Paterson, The Essential Daily Briefing

Germany’s worsening wolf problem: Farmers call for cull as their sheep are savaged

Peering out from under his wide-brimmed herdsman’s hat, the normally smiling face of veteran shepherd Knut Kucznik contorts into a grimace when he recalls the most recent wolf attack on supposedly “protected” livestock at a farm close to his own in the east German state of Brandenburg. The predators struck at around 4 am. The leading wolves simply jumped over a meter high electrified fence that was meant to safeguard a flock of sheep at the farm near the village of Klein Wasserburg. The wolves then set about ripping out the throats and bellies of the terrified sheep, trapped inside, with their fangs…Experienced shepherds like Knut Kucznik benefit from state funding to pay for electrified anti-wolf fencing. Kucznik has also gone to the expense of equipping his 450 strong sheep herd with Pyrenean sheep dogs costing Euros 2,000 apiece. The dogs live with the sheep and are recognised as one of the few measures which effectively deter wolves. But even he remains pessimistic about the state’s wolf problem. Shepherds like Kucznik want the current tough European Union regulations safeguarding wolves lifted. He wants hunters to be allowed to eradicate every wolf pack which has become “hooked” on farm livestock.