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Goat killed Swiss canton records rare wolf attack on livestock

A wolf lying down

The protected status of wolves in Switzerland is currently under review.


Canton Lucerne has witnessed its first wolf attack in five years as the authorities said a domestic goat had been killed in the region. The incident comes as lawmakers are debating whether to reduce the wolf’s highly protected status in the country.

Lucerne’s hunting and fishing inspector confirmed a story in the Luzerner Zeitung newspaper that a wolf struck earlier this week in the central Swiss canton for the first time since 2013. While wolves have been spotted in the region, no attacks had taken place for some time.

Farmers local to the region have been alerted to the attack but the authorities say there is no reason to take further action for the time being. Further wolf attacks on livestock were recorded in the central Swiss cantons of Nidwalden and Uri in recent days.

The 30-40 wolves living in Switzerland are currently protected under the Council of Europe’s Bern Convention, a binding international legal agreement. Wolves may only be hunted if they kill more than 25 farm animals within a month.

Last year, the Swiss government said it wanted to change the wolf’s status from “strictly protected” to “protected”, which could lead to more of the animals being hunted down and killed. The proposal is being debated by parliament.

Last month, the cross-border Association of Alpine States (Arge Alp), which includes several Swiss cantons as members, added its voice to the debate, calling on the European Union to review wolf conservation measures in light of increasing populations.

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