Wolf: Mountain cantons want more money for livestock protection



Mountain cantons are demanding more money for herd protection and limitation of wolf packs

The mountain cantons are demanding more financial support for livestock protection from the federal government. They also advocate preventive killing of wolves. Next week, the Council of States will bend over the bill for a new hunting law. However, the current draft goes too far for the environmental associations.

Should it be possible to prevent wolves from being shot down before they cause major damage? Yes, says the Intergovernmental Conference of the Mountain Cantons. (icon picture)

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Reports of wolf attacks increased this summer. The mountain regions feel abandoned. They have been insisting for a long time that the federal government intervene more decisively in the regulation of wolves. The government conference of the mountain cantons is now demanding a number of measures from the federal government. These are based on two scientific studies that they commissioned.

Specifically, the mountain cantons are demanding “significantly more financial support from the federal government”, as they announced on Tuesday. The human and financial effort for the herd protection concepts is a challenge for the cantons. “The mountain cantons cannot bear this effort alone,” it says. In addition, the protection concepts should take greater account of the individual alpine farms. Uniform concepts, on the other hand, are “not appropriate”.

A maximum of 17 wolf packs in Switzerland

Furthermore, the mountain cantons advocate that the wolf should be “actively regulated”, similar to the ibex population. This means that wolves should be able to be released for shooting more quickly in the future. The mountain cantons also demand that the federal government issue shooting plans for each canton in order to “reduce conflicts with people and their livestock”.

The wolf populations in this country should be so large that they ensure the survival of the wolf and are “acceptable for the affected population”. The cantons name 17 wolf packs as a benchmark. According to the Foundation for Predator Ecology and Wildlife Management (Kora), there are currently 19 wolf packs and 180 animals in Switzerland. According to the mountain cantons, the aim of the measures is to enable a “sustainable coexistence of wolves, humans and livestock in the Alpine region”.

With these demands, the mountain cantons are in line with the State Council’s Environment Commission (Urek-S). In June, the latter drew up a draft for a new revision of the hunting law and advocated that wolves can be shot “proactively” before they cause any damage. At the request of CH Media, the Secretary General of the Intergovernmental Conference confirmed: “Our conference supports the draft according to Urek-S”.

Provision is made for heated debates

The Federal Council also advocates preventive shootings. This is despite the fact that Parliament is shaking up the referendum of September 2020, when the revision of the hunting law was rejected. At the time, a majority of voters spoke out against the preventive shooting of wolves.

Meanwhile, environmental organizations are criticizing the draft law. In a statement on Tuesday, the Wolf Switzerland group criticized the fact that the current draft for a new hunting law “only focuses on shooting”. This is “shocking and incomprehensible”. Instead, the group, along with WWF, Pro Natura and Birdlife, are advocating a compromise previously worked out by farming and environmental groups.

The responsible committee in the National Council had approved this in January with no dissenting votes and two abstentions. The Council of States will debate the draft law next week. For plenty of fuel is at least provided.