Growing numbers of wolves and bears in Europe are threatening traditional pastoral farming. Herbert Dorfmann MEP, EPP Group Spokesman in Parliament's Agriculture Committee, and Alexander Bernhuber MEP, responsible for the topic in the Environment Committee, are calling for a modification of the protection status of wolves based on a scientific reassessment of their populations.
In France alone, more than 10,000 sheep are killed by wolves every year. In Germany, wolf populations are growing by 36% every year. 6,000 bears roam in the Romanian mountains.
"Growing populations of large predators are threatening the traditional way of farming in several European countries, not only in mountainous regions where pastoralism is an important part of agriculture. They also have a wider effect on rural communities and on tourism", said Dorfmann.
"Current measures to protect livestock and herds, such as fences and dogs, are insufficient for European farmers. We call for a change of the protection status of wolves in accordance with the Habitats Directive. It is time for a sound scientific reassessment of the European wolf population", confirms Bernhuber.
"When populations change, their conservation status must follow", Dorfmann stressed.
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The EPP Group is the largest political group in the European Parliament with 176 Members from all EU Member States