Prefect Authorizes Culling of Stray Dogs in 5 French Municipalities to Protect Livestock

The French prefecture of Aveyron has issued a decree sanctioning the culling of stray dogs to protect livestock, despite local sheep breeders arguing that wolves, not dogs, are the genuine threat. The animal rights group One Voice has filed an appeal, arguing for non-lethal methods to manage any potential conflicts.

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Prefect Authorizes Culling of Stray Dogs in 5 French Municipalities to Protect Livestock

Prefect Authorizes Culling of Stray Dogs in 5 French Municipalities to Protect Livestock

The prefect of Aveyron, France has issued a decree sanctioning the culling of stray dogs in five municipalities from April 10 to May 10, 2024. The measure aims to protect livestock in the areas of La Couvertoirade, L'Hospitalet du Larzac, Nant, Sainte-Eulalie de Cernon and Saint-Jean Saint-Paul.

Under the decree, agents of the French Biodiversity Office and lieutenants of louveterie (wolf control officers) are permitted to conduct 'simple or reinforced defense firing' between 8 pm and 8 am. The prefecture cites the presence of a Saarloos-type dog, which can be mistaken for a wolf, as the reason for sanctioning the culling.

However, local sheep breeders argue that it is actually a wolf causing damage to their herds, not stray dogs. They believe the prefecture's focus on stray dogs is misguided and fails to tackle the genuine menace to their livestock.

Why this matters: The decision to cull stray dogs in order to protect livestock raises important questions about wildlife management and the balance between animal welfare and agricultural interests. The controversy also highlights the ongoing debate over the presence and influence of wolves in the region.

In response to the prefectural decree, the animal rights group One Voice has filed an appeal with the administrative court of Toulouse. "We strongly oppose this inhumane and unjustified measure targeting stray dogs," said a spokesperson for One Voice. The organization argues that non-lethal methods should be prioritized to manage any potential conflicts between dogs and livestock.

As the debate continues, the prefecture maintains that the temporary culling of stray dogs is necessary to ensure the safety of livestock in the designated municipalities. Local authorities have pledged to work with all stakeholders to find enduring solutions that balance the needs of farmers, wildlife, and animal welfare advocates in the region.

Key Takeaways

  • Aveyron prefecture decrees culling of stray dogs to protect livestock from April-May 2024.
  • Agents can conduct 'defense firing' against Saarloos-type dogs mistaken for wolves.
  • Local sheep breeders argue wolves, not stray dogs, are the genuine threat to their herds.
  • Animal rights group One Voice files appeal against the 'inhumane and unjustified' measure.
  • Prefecture aims to balance livestock, wildlife, and animal welfare needs through enduring solutions.