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Farmers' association expects growing number of wolf attacks

The Saxon State Farmers Association expects a growing number of wolf attacks on grazing animals. Chief executive Wolfgang Uhlemann justified this on Tuesday with the increased number of pups by about one fifth. "They're getting bigger now and they want to eat. Unfortunately, they don't eat heads of lettuce (...). We don't want to eradicate the wolf. But we need a population management that is tolerable for grazing animal owners," Uhlemann told the German Press Agency. Previously, the Chemnitz "Free Press" had reported.

According to the State Office for the Environment, Agriculture and Geology, 147 cases of damage were reported from January to mid-August. It is considered certain that wolves killed, injured or carried off 368 farm animals. In most cases, sheep are affected. But also game in enclosures and cattle were attacked. Federal Environment Minister Steffi Lemke (Greens) had recently spoken out in favor of making it easier to shoot wolves. Saxony wants to decide in the future faster whether a wolf is shot.

Uhlemann sees movement in the debate, but further need for action. The words would now have to be followed by action. "The pure announcement brings us first of all nothing. That is again only a tranquilizer pill. Our livestock farmers expect clear statements on how we can minimize wolf depredations, especially in grazing livestock. For this we need concrete measures." In Bavaria the wolf may be shot already from the first tear of a pasture animal, in Saxonia several tears are necessary for it, said the managing director.

According to Uhlemann, the bureaucratic effort for the removal of a wolf in Saxony is so high that hardly anyone can enforce it. "Militant wolf protectors" would threaten responsible persons in the case of an ordered shooting: "That does not go at all." A bundle of measures is therefore needed. With protective fences the wolf can no longer be kept away. "The wolf has learned to climb in the meantime. A fence height of 1.20, 1.80 or 3 meters is all the same to him."

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