INFO THE DISPATCH. After two attacks on sheep, Lot breeders fear the arrival of a new wolf

INFO THE DISPATCH. After two attacks on sheep, Lot breeders fear the arrival of a new wolf
INFO THE DISPATCH. After two attacks on sheep, Lot breeders fear the arrival of a new wolf

the essential
Two flocks of sheep were victims of predation on May 15 in Loubressac and on May 17 in Saint-Sozy. The Lot prefecture has convened a departmental wolf committee this Wednesday where the results of analyzes by the French Biodiversity Office will be presented. Farmers fear the return of a wolf.

The specter of the wolf continues to prowl the department. For two weeks, rumors have been circulating in the valleys of the north of the Lot: the animal might be back. According to our information, two attacks were recorded in mid-May on sheep. None has yet been attributed to the wolf but state services are taking the matter very seriously. The first attack took place on Wednesday May 15 in Loubressac, the second on Friday May 17 in Saint-Sozy. Agents from the French Biodiversity Office (OFB) were sent to observe the damage and take samples.

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According to our information, around ten sheep were found dead, in total, on the two farms. Farmers still traumatized by the damage from the last she-wolf already fear that a new wolf will be responsible for these attacks. The results of the OFB’s analyzes will be revealed this Wednesday afternoon at the Lot prefecture because a departmental wolf committee was organized without delay.

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“The State services sent a summons last Friday. All the stakeholders concerned are back around the table: hunters, representatives of agricultural unions, wolf protection associations such as Aspas and Ferus, the chamber of agriculture…”, explains a breeder who wishes to remain anonymous and who regrets a “new omerta” on this subject.

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State services confirm to us that analyzes are indeed underway and that OFB agents will present “findings, leads and directions” to the prefecture this Wednesday. The Lot prefecture, which wants to keep its reason, is in no case closing any door: “There is nothing to confirm at present that a wolf is behind this attack, it could be another canine like a dog “. Still, the wolf committee, which was put on hold after the she-wolf was shot dead on August 5 in Quissac, has been reactivated. “Given these two close predations and a request from breeders, we have organized this time for discussion. If necessary, we will reactivate the network of observers and remind us of protection aid for breeders,” continues the prefecture lotoise. A deliberately hurried wolf committee: state services have until May 31 to take additional protective measures and orders, if necessary.

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The unions send back the sheet of reflexes to keep

For their part, the Young Farmers, the FDSEA and the sheep union who are invited to the prefecture do not want to sink into psychosis but sent last weekend a reminder of the actions to take in the event of predation. In their email which asks farmers “not to communicate any information on social networks or to the press”, which we were nevertheless able to consult, they indicate: ” In order to fight against predation, it is essential to be reactive in the event of attacks or suspicions. This is why we are sending you the reflex sheet again. complete their report: “Contrary to usual, do not have animal corpses removed by the rendering service, isolate injured animals from the rest of the herd, record the full identification number of each killed or injured animal…”

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At the head of Jeunes agricultures du Lot, Julien Vielcazal assures us that he “wants to remain vigilant, particularly during this grazing period”. “The aim of our email was above all to inform and do prevention without panicking”, he adds before recognizing “suspicion and doubts about attacks which could be linked to wolves in the valley sector of the Dordogne”. The union official insists: “But it is now up to the administration to clarify the situation.”

Aspas, the association for the protection of wild animals, which will also be represented this Wednesday at the prefecture, is not really “surprised” by the situation. “If the presence of the wolf is confirmed, it is not surprising. As long as the herds are accessible, there will be risks. We must protect them as much as possible and learn to live with them. Even if it is a constraint and I understand it,” explains Marion Fargier, lawyer for the association.

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