Updated on Wednesday, 22 September 2021 – 00:23
Ranchers, hunters and the Autonomous Communities with the largest population of wolves criticize the government’s “no consensus” order to prohibit wolf hunting
Alberto Di LolliThe World
The legal shielding of the wolf species by the Government – officially made effective this Tuesday with the publication of the Order that modifies the List of Wild Species in the Special Protection Regime (Lespre) – has caused a wave of criticism from of ranchers, hunters and also of those autonomous communities where this animal has a greater number of specimens.
“We regret that the allegations of the agricultural sector have been ignored”, highlighted Pedro Barato, president of Asaja Nacional, which at the same time recalled the records of 2020, where they were recorded more than 15,000 wolf attacks to the rancher with losses of more than 9.5 million euros“.
Luis Planas, the Minister of Agriculture, assured yesterday that he supported the Order, although in February he publicly dissociated himself from the initiative of his cabinetmate, Teresa Ribera, the head of the Ecological Transition portfolio. Then, Planas assured: “As a minister, I do not agree and I share the concern of the ranchers and I am at their side.” This Tuesday, I recoiled.
Although the official studies are out of date (the last one is from 2014), it is estimated that in Spain, with a growing census, there are between 2000 and 2,500 specimens, grouped in 297 herds that are distributed almost entirely – more than 95% – on the northwestern cornice of the peninsula. All of them, without exception, will cease to be a hunting species, that is, It will no longer be possible to hunt or in legitimate defense for the livestock, by protecting all populations of Iberian wolf (Canis Lupus) in Spain. Several autonomous communities have already been warning that they were going to frontally oppose the measure. It is the case of Castilla and Len, where more species exist, along with Galicia, Asturias and Cantabria. All have confirmed that they will appeal before the National Court the Government’s decision, which comes into effect from this Wednesday. Precisely, these autonomous communities located north of the Duero are the ones that most live with wolves in their territories and had already voted at the beginning of the year against the proposal. Specifically, in Castilla y Len a maximum approved hunting quota was allowed in the 2020/2021 season. 113 copies (the same as in the previous one), although the actual catches were finally 62 (55%). The total number of reported attacks in this region in 2019 amounted to 2,579 affecting 3,774 head of cattle. Losses exceeded 4,250,000 euros.
The measure approved without consensus raised blisters unanimously, over ideologies and interests, in the entire agrarian sector in unison. Agricultural organizations Asaja, COAG and UPA they accused the Government of condemning the cattle rancher to “extinction”. In a joint statement, the three organizations criticized that the Executive has “breached” its commitment to them and has taken an “urban and irresponsible measure, which will cause pain and economic losses in rural areas.”
The ranchers called for the resignation of the Minister for the Ecological Transition and the Demographic Challenge, Teresa Ribera, for taking a decision in her opinion “tendentious and ideological, based on the falsehood that the wolf is threatened in Spain.” For the agrarian organizations, the minister and her team have “not taken their word”, since “they promised to negotiate the management protocol of the species before adopting that measure.
In addition, they announced that they are preparing mobilizations in all affected areas: “The protection of the wolf is a measure taken from the offices and not from the villages. Anyone who lives in rural areas and lives with the wolf knows that the best management is not total protection,” they indicated, so they foresee an increase in attacks on livestock, losses and depopulation: “We will not allow them to condemn us to extinction. We will work because in the field there are still cows, goats, sheep, horses and other animals. And not only wolves” , have highlighted agricultural organizations.
For its part, Royal Spanish Hunting Federation it announced that it is going to file a Contentious-Administrative Appeal before the Chamber of the National Court against said Order, “since there are no scientific criteria, updated censuses or a conservation and management strategy that support the need for this special protection.” From this federation they accuse the Government of eliminating the different wolf management plans that “are allowing the recovery of their populations and their coexistence with extensive cattle ranching” for simple anti-hunting ideology.
Also, remember that the protection of the species that has been applied since 1992 south of the Duero “It has not worked since, far from allowing populations to grow, they have practically disappeared.” For the president of the RFEC, Manuel Gallardo, “This is one more chapter of the roadmap that the Ministry of Ecological Transition has to try to end hunting in our country” and blames the Government, “once again” for putting “the wishes of environmentalists and animal rights room for the development of the rural world, which will be sentenced in the very near future if the Government continues with its pseudo-ecological and anti-hunting drift. “
For his part, the Minister of Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries and Food (MAPA), Luis Planas, assured this Tuesday that he supports the order but recalls that “farmers are often afraid” of this great predator, although he has clarified that although The initiative is from the Ministry of Ecological Transition, in the Executive they are all “together” in making decisions: “Beyond the legal norms, farmers are often afraid (of the wolf), and I understand it and it is reason of concern. We have all together to show the farmers that society is with them and that it is also willing to defend their legitimate interests. “
According to the data provided in February by the minister himself, Last year there were a total of 592 incidents related to the wolf in Spain, which resulted in Agroseguro compensation amounting to 252,000 euros, a figure estimated as “ridiculous” for agricultural organizations.
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