Environment ministers from 12 countries urge the EU to better protect the grey wolf

Published 10:09 on February 2, 2023  /  Last updated at 10:11 on February 2, 2023  / Emanuela Barbiroglio /  Biodiversity

The environment ministers of 12 EU member states have written a letter to environment commissioner Virginijus Sinkevicius, urging him to preserve the protection of the grey wolf.

The environment ministers of 12 EU member states have written a letter to environment commissioner Virginijus Sinkevicius, urging him to preserve the protection of the grey wolf.

Slovak Environment Minister Jan Budaj signed the letter on behalf of his counterparts in Bulgaria, Germany, Greece, Spain, Ireland, Cyprus, Luxembourg, Austria, Portugal, Romania, and Slovenia.

The letter is based on the opinion that the EU should implement instruments and policies that will make it possible to compensate, in particular, the loss of livestock from large predators.

That should be done “fairly and without unnecessary administrative burdens”, the Slovak environment ministry noted in a communication accompanying the letter.

At the same time, “these instruments should also contribute to the growth of the number of livestock and strengthening of sustainable farming”, the letter said.

It comes as the bloc is about to finalise its biodiversity strategy, with a first draft leaked earlier this week.

The letter pointed out that the 12 countries took a clear position on last November’s Parliament resolution on the protection of livestock farming and large carnivores in Europe.

At that time, they rejected the resolution’s “tendency to weaken the legal protection of the wolf”.

“We are convinced that it is strict protection, together with an effective system of preventive measures, fair compensation, but also communication with the experts, the stakeholders concerned, as well as the general public, that will bring us the best solutions,” the letter stated.

“I firmly believe that the European Commission will keep the same responsible approach to the protection of rare species as it has done up to now,” Budaj said.

The ministers said they are “ready to help and cooperate in gathering information and further strengthening the support and development of measures to preserve the legal protection of the grey wolf in Europe”.

Grey wolves are among the last large predators in Europe, and though its numbers have increased in recent years the question of how to deal with it continues to be subject to tension between environmentalists and primary industries, especially farmers that hold cows and sheep.

By Emanuela Barbiroglio – emanuela@carbon-pulse.com

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