The wolf packs in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania have torn more farm animals by November than in the record year 2018, according to a spokeswoman for the State Ministry for the Environment in Schwerin. Thus, there have been 37 attacks on sheep, cattle and fallow deer so far this year. 140 sheep and other livestock were killed and 46 animals injured.
Last year, the ministry counted 23 such incidents involving 120 killed and 42 injured farm animals. In 2019, the focus was on the whole of Western Pomerania as well as the districts of Ludwigslust-Parchim and Rostock, where there were more than 30 killed sheep in October alone.
According to the Ministry, there are now eight wolf packs in the country, living in the south of the country with at least 20 puppies. One of the special features of 2019 is that one or more wolves at Borken in Western Pomerania overcame a 1.80 meter high fence and killed fallow deer.
According to the figures of the Federal Documentation and Counseling Center for the Wolf, there are currently 78 confirmed packs, nine pairs and 12 territorial individual animals nationwide. As before, most animals live in Brandenburg, Saxony and Lower Saxony.
Half a year ago, the federal government had decided to facilitate the shooting of wolves after farm animal tears - but there is a dispute in the coalition about it. The SPD insists on the protection of the herds and the European law, which provides a strict protection of the animals. At the core of the dispute is whether wolves may be shot as a preventive measure to create wolf-free zones or to comply with upper limits.
"Until the absence of damage"
The government bill, which is being discussed in the Bundestag, provides for the inclusion of a new paragraph 45a in the Federal Nature Conservation Act (BNatSchG). In it, the federal government wants to regulate, among other things, under what conditions wolves may be shot down after tearing of livestock. Thus, in cases where livestock cracks can not be assigned to a single animal, the firing of individual members of a pack "until the absence of damage" may continue. The authorities must approve each case, there are time and space limits. The feeding and attracting of wild wolves should now be expressly prohibited, so that they do not get used to the proximity of people. Mongrels from wolf and dog, so-called hybrids, are to be shot.
Although Minister of Agriculture Julia Klöckner (CDU) agreed in the Cabinet, she said that she considered the measures inadequate - and insisted that the Bundestag sharply criticize it.