Dec 142016
 

Madrid’s regional government is to double its compensation fund for farmers who lose animals to wolves after a steep increase in fatal attacks in the last year.

Wolves, hunted to the brink of extinction over the past seven decades, have begun to reappear in the region in recent years.

Their return has been most keenly noticed by farmers, whose sheep, goats, cows and horses are increasingly falling prey to the 20 or so wolves thought to roam the autonomous community of Madrid. The region, which covers 3,000 sq miles at the centre of Spain, contains mountains, valleys, hills, forests, pastures and farmland, as well as the capital city.

An Iberian wolf in Chapineria, south-west of Madrid. There are thought to be 20 or so wolves roaming the community of Madrid. Photograph: Paul Hanna/Reuters

Wolf attacks have risen from under 20 in 2012 and 2013 to 91 in 2015 and 209 in 2016. There were also four attacks in 2016 attributed to vultures.

The regional government has announced it will raise its compensation budget from €60,000 (£51,000) this year to €120,000 in 2017. Claims for the past 12 months already total almost €90,000. Compensation payments are up to €500 per sheep or goat and €1,000 per cow or horse.

According to the government’s environment department, there are estimated to be three wolf packs in the region, whose numbers are growing year by year.

“The community of Madrid has to reconcile two things: it needs to protect wolves – which cannot be hunted or captured in the region – but it also needs to protect farmers’ interests,” said a government spokesman.

“We’re paying farmers for the loss or injury of their animals but we’re also talking to farmers and ecologists about things like electric fences, using mastiffs to protect livestock and restoring pens to make animals less vulnerable to attack.”

Another problem, the spokesman said, was that wolves in surrounding areas did not respect manmade boundaries and frequently staged sorties into the Madrid region.

“The number of attacks has risen considerably because there are wolves in neighbouring communities such as Castilla y León and Castilla-La Mancha and they don’t understand borders – they come in, hunt and leave,” he said.

Also among the options is using GPS technology to track the animals and get a better idea of their habits and movements.

There are thought to be more than 2,000 wolves in Spain, the largest population in western Europe.

This article was first published by The Guardian on 28 Nov 2016.

 

Subscribe to our FREE Newsletter

 

 

Share on social media:

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmail
Facebook Comments

Leave a Reply

avatar
trackback

[…] Origen: Madrid to double farmers’ compensation fund for wolf attacks » Focusing on Wildlife […]

Marilyn marilyn

That’s good news for farmers and wolves. Now if only Spain would Permanently Ban the Ruthless, and Barbaric Bull Fighting!

wpDiscuz

Top-Viewed Posts Last 30 Days

  1. POLL: Should Canada ban the hunting of seals? [2461 Views]
  2. POLL: Should there be a worldwide ban on fur farming? [1689 Views]
  3. POLL: Should Japan be sanctioned for slaughtering Minke whales? [1487 Views]
  4. POLL: Should the USDA stop using cyanide bombs to control predators? [1487 Views]
  5. POLL: Should Alaska’s refuges be opened for hunting again? [1368 Views]
  6. POLL: Should wild elephants be sold to Chinese zoos? [1242 Views]
  7. POLL: Should Norway stop the annual slaughter of whales? [1135 Views]
  8. Badger buries entire cow in shocking new video [1050 Views]
  9. Is ‘Baiting’ an ethical way to photograph wild owls? [926 Views]
  10. POLL: Should the sale of rhino horns be legalized? [837 Views]

Top-Viewed Posts Last 12 Months

  1. White Killer Whale Adult Spotted for First Time in Wild [42073 Views]
  2. POLL: Should there be a worldwide ban on fur farms? [16838 Views]
  3. POLL: Should fur farming be banned in the European Union? [14122 Views]
  4. Gray Squirrels versus Red Squirrels – The Facts [12633 Views]
  5. POLL: Should Congress disband Wildlife “Killing” Services? [11131 Views]
  6. POLL: Should driven grouse-shooting be banned? [8641 Views]
  7. POLL: Should grouse shooting on highland estates be banned? [8315 Views]
  8. POLL: Should black bears be killed for Royal Guards’ fur caps? [8061 Views]
  9. POLL: Should China’s dog meat festival be banned? [7427 Views]
  10. POLL: Should the trophy hunting of giraffes be banned? [5378 Views]