Saxony-Anhalt: More wolves in Saxony-Anhalt - No inclusion in hunting law

For some it is the return of a piece of lost diversity, for others it is an enemy - wolves are highly controversial.

Saxony-Anhalt: More wolves in Saxony-Anhalt - No inclusion in hunting law

For some it is the return of a piece of lost diversity, for others it is an enemy - wolves are highly controversial. They are also spreading more and more in Saxony-Anhalt.

Magdeburg (dpa/sa) - More and more wolves are living in Saxony-Anhalt. In the last wolf year between May 2021 and April 2022, 26 animals were added, according to the wolf monitoring report presented on Monday by the State Office for Environmental Protection. In total there are 183. They mostly live in communities: in 24 packs and 4 pairs of wolves; 2 individual animals were detected. The Ministry of the Environment and the State Office for Environmental Protection (LAU) announced that a new pack had been discovered near Wahlitz (Jerichower Land district) and Hundeluft (Wittenberg district).

In 75 cases, wolves killed a total of 294 farm animals, mainly sheep, or at least could not have been ruled out as the cause. There were 13 more cases than in the same period last year. However, the number remained below the previous maximum of 95 livestock kills by wolves in the 2019/20 monitoring year.

"40 percent of all wolf kills in farm animals occurred in Jerichower Land," explained LAU President Sandra Hagel. "There, the wolf-repellent minimum protection was comparatively often not available. Most wolf territories are in the district of Wittenberg, but only 13 percent of the attacks on farm animals occurred here."

Environment Minister Armin Willingmann (SPD) sees consistent herd protection as the best remedy against the attacks. "We see that it is not the number of wolves that decides the number of cracks, but the wolf-repellent herd protection. This should be used even more consistently by animal owners." Around one million euros would be spent per year on herd protection and compensatory measures, said Willingmann.

In Saxony-Anhalt, livestock protection measures are 100 percent funded, and advice is free. Both full-time and part-time pet owners and hobby keepers benefited. Willingmann also sees the need for support in the coming years so that the situation for pet owners does not worsen.

The Environment Minister also spoke out against the inclusion of wolves in hunting law. It's about symbolism. "Even if you ignore the fact that wolves are protected by national and European law, you have to realize that including wolves in hunting law does not prevent losses in grazing animals." There will be further attacks and the wolf will remain protected. "In the past, we have already seen that other wolves take over the territories illegally when they are killed," explained Willingmann. From his point of view, professional wolf management could not be practiced with individual kills.

According to the monitoring report, 16 dead wolves were found between May 2021 and April 2022, 8 of them died in road traffic and 3 were shot down illegally.

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