Should the wolf be released for shooting because of economic damage?
As the Austrian media have recently found something again.
The topic of wolves and that he increasingly rips farm animals, especially sheep. From regular slaughter is spoken, the emotions especially in social media go again high….
Why a wolf or a pack of wolves possibly equal to several sheep bestial torn, killed or a slaughter organized, without the prey then also as food to eat (if it happens at all actually so and not only the attention should serve) I do not know.
We have specialists for this in Austria and also in other countries. A wolf Science center for example, a Kurt Kotrschal, a VGT and other animal protection organizations. Unfortunately, factual opinions on this have obviously spread less or found attention in the mainstream media.
So I can not take a position on this at the present time, as I said, there are people from the field for this.
Let’s talk about numbers and relations, I don’t presume to be able to deliver correct values, it was a quick & dirty research, which seems plausible to me.
It is the task of a ministry of agriculture to provide factual information to the population and to transport this to the media. Our federal government also managed to do this in a corona pandemic and provided us with figures.
This should also apply to agriculture, because we need cooperation and transparency.
Relations, well we put everything into perspective. We are not spared.
We put vaccine damage into perspective, whoever it affects is the poor sod. Tough luck. Remains only to hope for a functioning support of the state then to be able to cope with strokes of fate then still halfway. The statistical advantages of the vaccination outweigh, on the individual and the total well-being regarded. It is not about this topic and I do not position myself here, but it is just a current topic and it concerns me about the comparison of individual strokes of fate. For this there are also umpteen other possible comparisons, possibly better ones, it just came to my mind.
So in this case the farmers are “the poor sow”, if the bred and raised sheep are killed. There is an economic loss, who is to compensate? Of course, the livestock farmers have a right to be heard. The individual affected will naturally and rightly ask for help.
How is it regulated, if hail, drought, floods etc. cause damage in millions to the agriculture? Can this not be transferred to the wolf topic? There must be specialists for this or is the door and gate then opened to the abuse and insurance fraud? It would be to be welcomed to see not only the lurid reports in the media.
Back to the relation.
We are currently talking about 100 sheep killed by wolves in 2021. Let’s say it will be another 200.
Now the numbers without reliable sources, as I said, other site, for a rough view it will already fit and I am happy to be corrected.
In 2019 about 340,000 slaughtered sheep with 100 wolf kills.
What does a sheep “bring in” money-wise when it is sold?
And now the issue with even more obscure numbers:
Fawns killed annually by harvesters:
In Austria, allegedly 25,000 per year. That’s quite a lot. A tragic and “unnecessary” death. But is this figure correct? In Tyrol, it is said that 800 fawns alone are killed or seriously injured in this way every year.
And somehow it fails then at technical conversions so similarly as with the dead angle problem with turning trucks possibly. I mean, those combines, tractors and trucks don’t look cheap to me… Do I always need a drone there? And even if, meanwhile cars drive independently! After all, what should the farmer do who has to mow his grain when it is ripe for it and the weather is right? Farmers live in rhythm and harmony with nature, there is nothing to do with appointments or probably only rarely.
The number of 100,000 fawns killed by combine harvesters in Germany would be quite close, but the Frankfurter Allgemeine in an article from 2018 has researched this as an obviously “invented number”.
But let’s stay with “only” 800 fawns in Tyrol.
Who will compensate the hunters for the damage if these 800 deer can then shoot less?
Let alone the damage of 25,000. What now? Here it is missing in my opinion in the policy and/or in a Ministry at the appropriate communication strategy and clearing-up and/or also solution finding. Perhaps, however, there is simply no pragmatic and good solution, can be of course. But then we will not shoot down wolves because of “only” 200 sheep, if any. There is already enough friction between vacation and recreation seekers and agriculture.
Farmers who face hundreds of thousands of euros in claims for damages after the tragic death of a tourist at the hands of a cow. Consumers who want the meat of the happy cow from the pasture on the plate, but do not want to be exposed to danger when hiking, especially if they walk on marked and “official” trails.
And there are cows that are used to people and there are cows that are not. There are deranged people who have followed a social media trend and scared cows and there are people who are respectful towards grazing animals.
Yes, it’s all not easy, I had talked extensively and a lot with farmers.
And guard dogs, oh yes, that brings new points of friction. Switzerland has developed its own smartphone app to make their use visible to hikers. In Italy it should be a success to protect cattle herds from the wolf, how that looks with hikers or even with tourers with dog as an escort remains open.
The Corona app was there in no time, so it can’t be that hard.
Responsible journalism looks different, does not incite people against each other again, but strives for factual clarification.
But before we now shoot isolated wolves, the affected sheep farmers should first be replaced the loss and a strategic and sustainable solution should be developed. As I said, we have a Wolf Science Center, responsible hunters and farmers.
I personally do not have a solution ready, how could I? It needs people from the subject and the practice just like academics, researchers and perhaps visionaries. They just have to get together.
However, the relations I have pointed out should show that there is currently no justification for shooting down and that those affected should be given uncomplicated support for the time being.