Regulations finalized – Styria also makes it easier to shoot wolves

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Now Styria – like several states before it – will have a wolf ordinance that makes it easier to shoot the predator. The final design is available and will come into effect at the beginning of December. However, the criticism does not stop there.

The wolf regulation was actually announced before the start of the Alpine summer, but it took until early September before the draft was available. 40 statements were received, which contained a lot of criticism – both from representatives of the hunting community and the Chamber of Agriculture, as well as from non-governmental organizations such as the WWF.

After weeks of detailed coordination between the Environment Department under State Councilor Ursula Lackner (SPÖ) and the Agriculture Department, recently led by Simone Schmiedtbauer (ÖVP) – huge differences were reported in between – a final solution has now been found. It will be introduced at the government meeting on Thursday and then decided next week (December 7) – coming into force shortly afterwards.

No agricultural representative during inspection
High-risk and harmful wolves are likely to be killed in the future (more precise definition in the factual box). To determine whether the requirements are met, it will be examined by an official expert for nature conservation and one for wildlife ecology. The wishes of farmer and hunter representatives that a person designated by them would also participate in the trial was not heard.

After the green light, shooting can take place within a radius of ten kilometers around the last incident within four weeks of the last incident. The wolf must be identifiable, otherwise there should be no evidence of other wolves in the area.

The protection of herds is promoted
In addition to regulations, there is support for herd protection measures, such as advice on whether fences are useful and feasible given the topographical conditions. The state Agriculture Department is promoting the purchase. There is also compensation for injured animals.

Comprehensive documentation of all incidents involving wolves is also planned – from sighting to kill. They must be reported immediately. Killed wolves are examined at a facility commissioned by the state government.

State councilors satisfied
The two responsible state councils are satisfied. Ursula Lackner says: “Current regulations make it possible to set limits on wolves with unnatural behavior: through herd protection measures, deterrence and even hunting. The main goal is to maintain the wolf’s natural fear of humans while preventing attacks on farm animals.”

Simone Schmiedtbauer adds: “A good compromise in the interests of our farmers, which will allow us to ensure better management of problem wolves from the next grazing season. Ultimately, a review of the strict protection status of wolves in Brussels is inevitable.” The European Commission recently surprisingly announced this step.

Farmhouse room: “Step in the right direction”
There have been 34 crafty animals so far this year, according to the state. They have caused “great commotion and absolute incomprehension,” says the chairman of the Chamber of Agriculture, Franz Sittingchenbacher.In terms of EU legal requirements, the Styrian Wolf Regulation is an important step in the right direction. It is essential that the regulation is adopted quickly now so that animal owners have clarity.”

“A bureaucratic monster”
The Freedom Party has criticized the arrangement. Agriculture spokesman Albert Royer of the Ennstal FPÖ speaks of a “bureaucracy monster. We have enormous doubts about the practical suitability of this work.” He calls for a review over the winter and into the next mountain season.

Source: Krone

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