The Swiss Times - Swiss News in English

Animal welfare organizations condemn proactive killing of wolves

Several animal welfare organizations condemn the proactive, anticipatory killing of wolves. During the two-month hunting ordinance, which ends on Wednesday, around 50 wolves were killed and at least two entire packs were wiped out. The ordinance contradicts the Hunting Act and the Department of the Environment should return to "proper work", the organizations demand.

The "handily decreed hunting ordinance with arbitrarily defined thresholds" and the "nationwide authorized elimination of entire packs" based on it was a "quick fix with alarming consequences", wrote Birdlife, the Swiss Wolf Group, Pro Natura and WWF in a press release on Tuesday.

The legally protected wolf species has been degraded to a pest, and even largely inconspicuous packs should have been decimated or even eliminated. However, the bite statistics tracked until the end of 2023 show that herd protection is working. In the canton of Graubünden, for example, the number of bites on livestock had fallen by almost 50 percent and in the canton of Glarus by around 80 percent.

The fact that possible major damage caused by wolves can be proactively reduced through regulation is undisputed and is provided for in the Hunting and Protection Act (JSG), it continued. However, the JSG requires proportionality as well as respect for the wolf as part of the forest ecosystem and the further strengthening of herd protection.

At the end of November, the Federal Office for the Environment (FOEN) approved applications from five cantons to shoot a total of twelve wolf packs. This was based on an amendment to the hunting ordinance. In Valais and Graubünden, however, animal welfare organizations filed complaints to postpone the culls.

Wolf protection groups see the shooting as incompatible with the Bern Convention, which Switzerland has signed. The Convention is an agreement on the conservation of European wild flora and fauna and their natural habitats.


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