Groups of “organized” hunters will be able, “for the first time in Lozère”, to carry out “sampling shots” to eliminate a wolf.
"The wolf is not compatible with breeding, especially in mountain areas," said Francis Gibert, departmental councilor from Arzenc-de-Randon.
The police used tear gas to prevent herders from bringing a flock of sheep into a building where a meeting of the “large predators committee” was being held.
The prefect of Lozère announced that he had authorized "sampling shots" against "wolves who kill livestock", following a demonstration by breeders during which the police used tear gas.
Groups of "organized" hunters will be able, "for the first time in Lozère", to carry out "sampling shots" to eliminate a wolf, a measure that goes beyond the simple "defense shot" already authorized to defend his herd. during an attack, announced the prefect of the department Philippe Castanet.
"My objective is to eliminate the wolves who kill the cattle"
“So far, we have not killed wolves on a regular basis in Lozère.
But we have taken very concrete steps to get there.
Rest assured that my objective is indeed to eliminate the wolves who kill the cattle", he declared in the face of more than 150 breeders who came to demonstrate in the center of Mende, the prefecture of the department, at the call of four organizations. unions.
The demonstrators claimed for their part to be able to shoot the wolves “in all circumstances”.
"Wolves: only one solution, extermination", could be read on a sign hung on the front of a tractor.
"The wolf is not compatible with breeding"
Earlier in the day, the police had used tear gas to prevent breeders from bringing a herd of about fifty sheep into a public building where a meeting of the "large predator committee" was held, which brings together the actors concerned. by the presence of the wolf in the southern department of the Massif Central.
"The wolf is not compatible with breeding, especially in mountain areas", assured Francis Gibert, departmental councilor from Arzenc-de-Randon, an area where the attacks were particularly severe, who came to support breeders. .
The demonstration dispersed peacefully in the early evening.
224 farm animals killed during predator attacks in Lozère in 2022
According to figures from the prefecture, 224 farm animals, mainly sheep, have been killed in attacks by predators in Lozère since the start of the year and more than 160 injured.
More than 80% can be attributed to wolves.
In France, the gray wolf, which has returned on its own from Italy, has been experiencing favorable demographic dynamics for 10 years.
The French Office for Biodiversity (OFB) estimates its population at between 826 and 1,016 individuals.
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