Prefectural decree on stray dogs in South Aveyron: “If I had to do it again, I would do it”

Prefectural decree on stray dogs in South Aveyron: “If I had to do it again, I would do it”

Le préfet de l'Aveyron revient sur l'arrêté qui a créé la polémique. Midi libre – Maxime Cohen

At the height of the controversy, he did not wish to speak, sticking to official press releases. Yesterday, during a press conference, the prefect of Aveyron, Charles Giusti, himself returned to the controversy linked to the decree known as d’ slaughter of stray dogs in South Aveyron. He also announced that he had filed a complaint following several death threats, insults and even defamation on social networks. Interview.

Tuesday May 7, after several weeks of controversy, the administrative court of Toulouse suspended the order authorizing the slaughter of stray dogs in South Aveyron . How did you experience this decision ?

On this controversy, I have several clarifications to make. When this decree was issued, we were going through an exceptional situation with dramatic results for several breeders: in the area affected by the decree, i.e. five municipalities in South Aveyron, we have recorded since the start of the decree ;rsquo;year 10 attacks and 53 sheep affected. Of course, we must not hide: the main suspect, if I dare say, is the wolf. But our teams on site also observed a stray dog ​​as early as March. Its morphology was very close to the wolf (Sarloos breed, Editor's note) and its responsibility in all these attacks could not be ruled out. The decree taken therefore responded to the general interest, my main compass as prefect. That’s the bottom line. The administrative court has still not ruled on this, it has suspended the order on the form.

Basically, you therefore have no regrets despite the numerous criticisms raised ?

We have been victims of partial, biased, out-of-context and out-of-ground attacks. Many people forgot to say that this decree was extremely limited: in time, with a duration of one month, in space, with only five municipalities of Larzac concerned, in the levy too. Only OFB agents and louveterie lieutenants were authorized to shoot in the event that predation was possible! It is for all these reasons that no dog was killed during this period.
Unfortunately, I have not seen all these elements included in all the controversies: the associations simply mentioned a slaughter of stray dogs, without further details… So obviously it arouses emotion when we read that the prefect of Aveyron wants to kill all the dogs. But, that’s totally false.
I also note that all these people did not really take into account the suffering of the sheep, most of whose throats were slaughtered. I don’t dare show you the photos but I have them available. This animal welfare is, it seems, not as important as that of dogs for some.

Why say that the critics were "off the ground" ?

They come from associations which have little knowledge of the field, with headquarters often far from the areas in which the herd attacks take place. For example, I can cite extracts from a letter received at the prefecture. In it, it is written that breeders must « return to the good old methods of their ancestors, watching the herds like shepherds did with their dogs to scare away predators. I think the breeders concerned will appreciate this advice, especially those who have spent entire nights alongside their animals since January.
In this same letter, it is also written « that a person capable of shooting an animal is capable of doing so on a human being. Here too, I think our state agents will appreciate…

How many breeders were affected by these « attacks » ?


That's not much, knowing that only one dog ultimately seemed to be targeted by your order…

We are talking here about extensive agriculture, intended for the Roquefort sector. We cannot minimize the consequences for these farms. Not to mention that the compensation procedure for breeders does not always cover the costs or the impact of these attacks on reproductions. And when I say that the results of attacks since the start of the year are dramatic, I weigh my words: Aveyron has never experienced such a series since 2017.

Were there no other non-lethal options, such as using an animal pound or even numbing shots ?

When the wolf scouts intervene, it's at night, in the middle of the herd and in remote areas of Larzac! Having a pound nearby, capable of intervening on an animal that has gone wild, is materially complicated. Obviously if capture was possible, we would do it. We already do this during attacks by stray dogs on herds in the Decazeville basin. Several stray dogs were captured. But in the case of South Aveyron, it is much more complex. As for the anesthetic shots, it’s technically very complicated.

If you had to do it again, you would do it ?

Yes, but I will motivate him more.

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