Swiss farmers lay sheep killed by wolves in front of government building

Swiss farmers lay sheep killed by wolves in front of government building

On Saturday, around a dozen breeders from the Saint-Barthelemy area in Canton Vaud came to place the carcasses of 12 sheep that were killed by wolves in front of the regional government headquarters of Lausanne, Chateau Saint-Maire. The protest was started by farmers to demand more action against the increasing wolf population in Switzerland.

Swiss farmers have had enough of wolf attacks on livestock

“These sheep were killed last night,” said Eric Herb, a member of a Swiss association demanding the regulation of predators, to the Keystone-ATS news agency. According to the protestors, wolves killed 17 sheep in the area at the end of March, two earlier in the week leading up to the protest and 13 overnight before the protest. 

The protest, which the breeders had negotiated beforehand with the regional police, was to bring attention to the effect that wolves are having on livestock farming and to demand the resumption of wolf culling in the region by putting pressure on the Vaud government environmental minister, Vassilis Venizelos of the Green Party.

Wolf numbers in Switzerland increasing

In recent decades, wolves have returned to Switzerland and other European countries after being eradicated over a century ago. Since the first pack of wolves was spotted returning to the alpine nation in 2012, their numbers have increased to around 300 wolves, split over 32 wolf packs.

While nature conservation groups are celebrating the news of an increasing wolf population and a more diverse ecosystem, farmers are complaining about attacks on livestock and are increasing demands for wolf culling.

Last year, Swiss authorities relaxed the rules for hunting the protected species by allowing preventive culls to be performed in highly affected Swiss cantons. However, environmental groups quickly stepped in and took legal action that put a pause on culls that they believed could decimate the wolf population. 

Simone Jacobs


Simone Jacobs

Simone is originally from South Africa, where she studied Genetics and Zoology. She enjoys reading, hiking and animal training.

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