Swiss Canton Gives Green Light to Shoot Wolves Attacking Cows

By Reuters
July 16, 2022Europe
Swiss Canton Gives Green Light to Shoot Wolves Attacking Cows
A wolf is seen in a near-natural enclosure at the Langenberg Wildlife Park in Langnau am Albis, Switzerland, on June 9, 2020. (Arnd Wiegmann/Reuters)

ZURICH—The eastern Swiss canton of the Grisons gave the green light on Friday to shoot two young wolves whose pack has begun attacking cows in addition to traditional prey of sheep and goats.

The move highlights a national debate over how to handle the more than 100 wolves in Switzerland whose protected status is a thorn in the side of farmers keen to protect their flocks from the predators.

Cantonal authorities said they had to act after the so-called Beverin wolfpack mauled a grown cow so badly on Wednesday that it had to be euthanized, just days after the pack killed another mother cow in the area.

Federal authorities had approved the decision, they added.

“The canton’s goal remains the removal of the entire pack and the shooting of the particularly conspicuous sire M92 within the framework of the Swiss legal system,” they said.

Swiss voters in 2020 decided not to relax curbs on shooting wolves deemed a threat to livestock in a referendum that exposed divergent attitudes held by urban voters keen on protecting wildlife and rural voters who have to put up with wolves.

Swiss federal law holds that wolves may be shot only after they have attacked a certain number of livestock and their pack has had offspring, which applied in this case.

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