A wolf protection group has condemned the decision to allow four young wolves in canton Graubünden to be shot, following attacks on farm animals in the region.
The cantonal hunting and fishing department said on Fridayexternal link that there have been at least 15 attacks on goat herds – which were protected through special anti-wolf measures – which means the wolfpack’s behaviour can now be classified as “problematic”.
The decision to target the young wolves comes in order to protect the parent animals. The hunting order is valid immediately and continues until March 31, 2020, and has been approved by the Federal Office for the Environment.
The parent wolves had already attacked 59 sheep last year and the number is 40 so far this year, the head of Graubünden’s hunting and fishing department Adrian Arquint told Keystone-SDA.
Arquint's department had confirmed the presence of a wolfpack on the Piz Beverin three months ago. Arquint said there are currently 30 wolves in canton Graubünden, with 17 born this year alone.
Acceptance of wolves
The Wolf Switzerland Groupexternal link said it regretted the hunting order but accepted that the regulations were legal.
In a statement it added that the regulations were not used enough to protect animals in the wolf-affected areas or to increase acceptance of wolves. The federal authorities’ guidelines for herd protection were so weak that wolves were still attacking animals, it said and called for better protection measures.
In September parliament made it easier to hunt wolves, bears and ibexes, giving cantons more freedom to decide when an animal should be culled after consulting the Federal Office for the Environment.