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Farmers should be allowed to shoot wolves that cause “serious agricultural damage,” Germany’s Environment Minister Svenja Schulze said in an interview. She aims to change the laws that are protecting the predators.
Photo She-wolf Lena snaps at her mate Erik
With the wolf population rising and on the prowl in Germany, Environment Minister Svenja Schulze is pushing for a new law to curb the damage they cause to farmers.
Schulze’s proposed “Lex Wolf” would make it easier to shoot the protected animals.
“If wolves are repeatedly getting over fences or getting too close to humans, people need to be allowed to shoot them,” Schulze told the mass-circulation Bild am Sonntag.
Wolves killed at least 472 farm animals in 2017, according to German officials. However, current laws place the predators under strict environmental protection, which makes shooting them possible only rarely and with official permission, or in a serious emergency. People who ignore these restrictions and harm or kill healthy wolves face hefty fines or even jail time.
Can wolves and humans coexist in Germany?
‘Do not feed the wolves’
In the weekend interview, Schulze said she plans to amend the current regulations. Her new law would allow killing wolves that cause “serious agricultural damage” and give even hobby shepherds permission to fire at the animals.
It would also forbid wolf enthusiasts from feeding the animals.
Feeding “lures wolves close to populated areaI