The presence of the wolf is confirmed in the Lot

The Lot prefecture confirms the presence of the wolf in the department. (©Wikimedia Commons – illustration photo)

A departmental wolf committee took place this Wednesday, June 22, 2022 at the prefecture from Batch. The presence of the animal in the department is confirmed. Several attacks by herds of sheep have been observed on the Batch. Explanations.

22 sheep killed and 20 injured

Since May 31, reports of damage and predation on flocks of sheep present in open-air pastures have reached the Departmental Directorate of Territories and theFrench Office for Biodiversity. Nine attacks on eight farms located in six municipalities of the Causse central were observed.

At this stage and formally, the French Office for Biodiversity, in view of the elements collected in particular by the department’s wolf hunting lieutenants, has recorded the presence of a wolf in the Lot department. Predation by the wolf is retained for seven attacks, which resulted in 22 dead animals and 20 injured animals.

The measures implemented

Measures have already been put in place and will be reinforced. They are part of the National Action Plan for wolves and breeding activities, set out by the departmental prefects. This includes the following measures in particular:

– implement protective measures;

– meet twice a year with a departmental wolf committee in the presence of local stakeholders;

– prevent situations of distress for certain stockbreeders and herders, and support affected stockbreeders;

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– support the awareness and training of wolf-hunting lieutenants.

The wolf is in fact subject to strict protection at international, community and national levels. In this context, the measures to be put in place must be proportionate in order to reconcile the protection of sheep herds and that of wolves.

From the first suspicions of predation by a wolf, a prefectural decree was issued in order to order wolfing lieutenants a particular monitoring and scaring mission, in the form of non-lethal shots, in order to prevent attempts to predate herds. These shots are possible day and night, from June 10 to July 8, 2022, by specifically designated wolf hunting lieutenants.

Since this measurement, the acts of predation are less frequent even if the presence of the wolf in the same sector is always proven.

The State services have brought together the farmers affected in order to support them and raise their awareness of the risk of predation for their herds. This meeting, initiated by the State services, in the presence of the breeders, the mayors concerned, the wolf-keepers and the OFB took place on June 13th. A technical meeting with the Chief of Staff of the Prefect of Lot, the Departmental Directorate of Territories, the French Office for Biodiversity, the Chamber of Agriculture, the Sheep Federation also took place on Thursday June 16, in order to take stock of the situation and inform breeders about the preventive measures that can be put in place.

The stockbreeders organized when it was possible and within the limits of the capacities of the sheepfolds, the night penning of the animals.

The conclusions of the departmental wolf committee

The prefect of Lot convened a departmental wolf committee on Wednesday June 22 in order to share an inventory by providing all the information available, to analyze the vulnerability of farms to predation taking into account the specificities of Lot and to propose to the profession of preventive measures and protection of herds.

Following this meeting, the Lot prefect decided to implement the following measures:

– invite the local elected officials of the area to take any measure against the wandering of dogs so as not to add difficulties to the farms in the sector;

– provide the profession with electrified “sheep” containment pens as an additional protective measure;

– set up, on the basis of the findings of the French Office for Biodiversity, the process of compensation for attacked animals;

– request the establishment of zoning (“circles”) provided for in the National Action Plan so that financial support for long-term prevention measures is possible for Lot farms.

In addition, given the geographical concentration and the number of attacks, once effective measures to protect the herds are in place, authorization for simple defensive fire around a limited number of farms may be given. to the wolf lieutenants designated for this purpose, in accordance with the protocol of the National Action Plan, in order to allow the prevention of attacks and the defense of the herds.

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