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Campaigners petition for wolf protection

Animal rights activists have handed in a petition to the government and parliament calling for the protection of the wolf in Switzerland.

The Gruppe Wolf (Wolf Group), which is backed by environmental organisations, says it collected about 25,000 signatures in three months urging the authorities to reconsider a plan to withdraw from an international convention about the conservation of wildlife and natural habitats.

People from all ages and parts of the country supported the presence of wolves in Switzerland, campaigners said in a statement on Wednesday.

They added that they were prepared to challenge any change in the law aimed at lifting protection.

In September parliament approved a proposal relaxing the law against shooting wolves.

Current regulations permit the shooting of any wolf believed to have killed at least 35 sheep over a four-month period or 25 in a single month.

Sheep farmers in mountain regions have long been calling for a change in policy towards wolves because of the damage they cause to livestock, but wolf supporters say the farmers should have better protection for their animals.


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