Wolf attack in Aveyron: “I don’t do this job for that”

Wolf attack in Aveyron: “I don’t do this job for that”

The department of Aveyron represents around 15% of farms (nearly 600 farms) and the number of sheep for meat (120,000 sheep for meat) and around 70% of regional dairy production with nearly 1,400 farms and 630,000 dairy sheep. . Archives

Victim of an attack on his flock of sheep in Saint-Beauzély, breeder Etienne Bastide advocates the systematic slaughter of wolves guilty of such attacks.

The day after the attack on his herd in the town of Saint-Beauzély, Etienne Bastide despaired. How to peacefully take your flock of 300 sheep out when the wolf is now clearly present in these lands of Lévézou.

"We are obviously not very reassured, confirms the breeder who lost a sheep during the night from Friday to Saturday. In 23 years of operation, this is only the first attack attributed to wolves on his farm. Its main losses to date have been caused by stray dogs.

"But we always managed to find stray dogs before resolving the problem very quickly. Which is never the case when it comes to wolves, believes the operator knows who, faced with this peril, feels "lost and a little alone".

The Occitanie region is the leading sheep region in France (Key sheep figures 2018) with nearly 6,000 professional farms, for a herd of 1 440 000 ewes. It has the particularity of having a breastfeeding sector and a dairy sector. Nearly one million five hundred thousand lambs are marketed each year, half of which come from each sector.

If he wants to clarify that he has nothing against canis lupus – as long as everyone stays at home – Etienne Bastide is making the film again… and lists his options. Meager in comparison to the obstacles that stand before him.

"What should I do ? Leave my sheep in the fold ? Economically unthinkable".< /em> Grazing is the cheapest way to feed your herd. Install electrified fences 2 meters high around your fields ? There, still impossible. "My finances don't allow it… and this is not my vision of breeding. I live in the middle of the woods, the forest, it's not for everyone."

Regulation request

Stand guard every night or entrust protection to dogs like the Patou or the Anatolian shepherd who remain to this day the most effective way to put down the wolf in disarray. "I'm thinking about it of course, but I live near the Comberoumal priory, a site very popular with tourists in the summer, and next to the GR& reg; Country Grand Tour of the Mountains and Lakes of Lévézou. If I were to post some Patous, I think it would get people talking…" No doubt for the worse, the cohabitation between the carnivorous smile of this Cerberus  long hair and hikers not being in good shape.

"So yes, he recognizes him. We receive compensation for our losses, but that’s not why I do this job. And I don't want to come every morning to see my flock with a lump in my stomach and wondering how many sheep are going to be missing…hellip; This doesn’t make sense."

Also read: Wolf attack on Lévézou: "No more territory is spared"

S’he says he feels no hatred against the wolf whose reintroduction has "undoubtedly benefited biodiversity"< /em>, the breeder recommends a solution: shoot down those wolves who are harsh against the herds… hellip; at the risk of taking the wrong ones. A solution that is now being advocated by the Cercle 12 association which campaigns – it’s in its statutes – for the "regulation of wolves due to the damage they cause to domestic herds."

"Despite the increase in the levy rate from 12 to 19 % of the average workforce estimated annually in France , we are well aware that the wolf population continues to increase, estimates President Mélanie Brunet who, like the President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen, proposes revise downwards the protection status of the wolf from a « protected » rather than « strictly protected ».

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