They have clashed over immigration, vaccinations and big infrastructure projects, but now the two parties in Italy’s fractious coalition have their claws out over wolves.

Sharply differing stances have emerged between the hard-Right League and the populist Five Star Movement over what to do about the country’s burgeoning wolf population.

Driven almost to extinction in Italy by the 1970s but then given protection, there are now around 2,000 wild wolves in Italy.Around 1,500 live in the Apennine mountains that form the country’s spine and the rest in the Alps.

Hailed by conservationists as a success story, the wolves are loathed by many farmers, who say they kill their livestock. There have been protests by landowners, especially in mountain areas, where the large expanses of land mean it is harder to protect flocks with electric fences.

via Italy’s fractious coalition clashes over proposal to shoot wolves