22 dead animals and 20 others injured among herds of sheep in the heart of the Causses du Quercy Regional Natural Park. The guilty ? A wolf. The beast has returned to the department, which does not intend to sit idly by.
Did we cry wolf too soon? Quite the contrary. 22 dead animals, and 20 others injured among herds of sheep in the heart of the Causses du Quercy Regional Natural Park. Here is the blood test attributed to a wolf, for a total of seven attacks. Such a beast in the Lot? Some were sure of it, others remained on their guard, but today, no more doubt. “It’s official, the wolf has returned to the department”, indicates Alain Lafragette, president of the FDSEA, at the end of the “Wolf” steering committee organized at the prefecture this Wednesday evening. The first suspicions of the presence of the beast date back to last May. Precautionary measures had already been taken.
A sufficient body of clues
The committee brought together breeders, the chamber of agriculture and trade unions. The objective was first to remove doubts and dismiss the thesis of the stray dog. “Given the bites left on the sheep carcasses, there is no doubt about it,” confirms Alain Lagrafette. A sufficient body of evidence clearly shows the presence of the animal in the Lot. Some breeders, warned, have positioned nocturnal sensors to recover any photos or videos of the beast. Analyzes following biological samples taken by the Department of Territories Directorate and the French Office for Biodiversity also confirm that a wolf is walking in the Lot woods.
The prefect of Lot has decided to take preventive measures to protect the herds, but also the wolf itself. Indeed, this animal is subject to strict protection at international, community and national levels. “Invite the local elected officials of the area to take any anti-straying measures for dogs so as not to add difficulties to the farms in the sector”, is it written in a press release from the prefecture. It is recommended that breeders secure their sheep in electrified containment pens, especially at night, but also to “request the implementation of the zoning provided for in the framework of the national action plan so that the financial support for long-term prevention is possible for Lot farms”. Farmers affected by wolf attacks are eligible for the compensation process.
“All the measures taken by the prefecture will go crescendo”, confides Alain Lafragette. In view of the geographic concentration and the number of attacks, the wolf hunt lieutenants, designated for this purpose, now have the authorization to carry out simple defensive fire around a limited number of farms. Farmers cannot hide their concerns. The Lot is the department with the most sheep. “Some spent nights watching, they organized patrols to watch over their animals”, explains Alain Lafragette.
The latter hopes that the wolf is alone: ”a priori, he is. But can a beast attract a whole pack? We do not hope so, because alone, he already does a lot of damage”.
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