Killed she-wolf in Sweden (archive image)


Following growing complaints from farmers about livestock being killed, all wolves in Switzerland may be shot by 12 of the country's 32 packs. The Federal Office for the Environment has approved applications from five cantons. In addition, two thirds of the young wolves may be killed in six other packs. In the cantons with the largest populations alone, Valais and Graubünden, almost 80 animals were released for shooting. The regulation will apply from 1 December.

The government wants to severely slow down the growth of the wolf population. For this purpose, the Hunting Ordinance has been amended. Since 1 November, wolves can also be shot preventively without having previously killed livestock or coming dangerously close to humans. The hunting season lasts from September to the end of January.

According to the federal government, there are currently around 300 wolves in Switzerland. In 2020, there were still eleven packs with 100 animals. In 2019, 446 farm animals were killed, in 2022 there were 1480, mainly sheep and goats.

Animal rights activists from the organizations CH Wolf and Avenir Loup Lynx Jura (Future Wolf Lynx Jura) had criticized the shooting applications. This violates the Berne Convention, a convention for the conservation of European wild flora and fauna and their natural habitats.

As reported by the Swiss Broadcasting Corporation (SRF), a total of hundreds of wolves are affected. In the canton of Valais, seven out of 13 packs with around 34 animals are approved for shooting. In the canton of Graubünden, a third of about 130 wolves are said to be killed. Four packs are to be completely wiped out here. In St. Gallen, too, an entire pack is to be killed. It killed 14 sheep that year.

However, the winter weather, the impassable mountain regions and the extensive habitat of the animals make hunting difficult. It could take years for the Federal Office's decision to be implemented.