Dairy farmers in Drenthe bring cattle for fear of wolves

Dairy farmers in Drenthe keep dry calves and cows indoors for fear of wolf attacks. According to the farmers concerned, it strikes every night. If municipalities and the county do not take action, ranchers in central and southwest Drenthe expect they will not be able to graze their dairy cows from next year.

It was a ‘difficult decision’ for Ansun organic dairy farmer Arjan Mugen to bring in his young and dry cows in the evening and at night. It totally goes against your gut feeling. I want to take care of my cattle as much as possible, and the fresh grass in the cow is part of our business. We kept the cows outside during the dry summer with great effort and effort.

Feed the animals bale. Now there’s grass again and you bring it up. It’s weird.’ Last Saturday, mosquitoes brought their dry cows and calves, in total, about forty pieces, in the evening and at night. During the day they walk in the range. He grazes dairy cows during the day.

dry cows and pinky

Mosquitoes milk ninety cows and keep fifty heads of small livestock. He usually grazes his dry cows and calves until November, but the fear of the wolf is great. I no longer dare to leave the animals outside in the evening and at night. The wolf is approaching.

Less than a kilometer away, the wolf ate a sheep, he says. I have a heart for my animals and I don’t want to lose them. I was lucky. My cattle did not become restless. I heard from fellow farmers that their animals were stressed because the wolf was wandering there at night.

Calves in igloos

The dairy farmer is still worried about the 10 calves in the igloos in the yard. I’ve kept calves like this for thirty years. this is good. Fresh air is good for them, but bringing in the calves may be the next step.

Bringing in cows has no consequences for the days of mosquito grazing. He wonders how his work should continue in the future when the wolf moves into the area. “Where will this end?”

Now there are also cubs around who are growing up and also looking for prey, he knows. If I always had to house my animals, I could write my biological certificate on my stomach. Shepherding is part of the organic certification and is a whole part of the organic idea.

pink is eaten

The calves from Mark Brinkhuis in Zwiggelte have also been around for a few weeks. ‘I have finished. My cattle don’t go out anymore. At the beginning of September, the neighbor’s little finger was eaten, which happened 10 meters from my small store. The DNA results are not yet known, but the animal was so badly beaten that it must have been a wolf.

Since the sheep farmer from the neighborhood no longer wants to graze his pasture-bred sheep in Brinkoys, the dairy farmer now has to feed the fresh grass in the barn. ‘The grass in the winter as short as possible may become a problem now that it is wetter. As a result, the old lawn comes into its first cut next year. The young entrepreneur expects this to be a mess.


Mosquitoes and Brinkhuis are no exception. Jacob Nijhoff, head of LTO North in Central Drenthe, knows that many farmers bring their young cattle, sheep, horses and ponies home or take them away from the woods. I estimate that half of the ranchers have part or all of their livestock because of the wolf. If nothing is done about it, I expect that next year there will be no cattle outside. And the igloos in the yard are no longer safe either.

Nijhoff continues: “When the game goes down as a result of the wolf, the animal remains hungry. It will focus on alternatives. When the game is completely over and there are hardly any livestock outside, crazy things will happen. I honestly hope it’s not a shock.

don’t be shy

The farmers involved point out that in addition to assaults on livestock, they also affect residents’ sense of security. A few weeks ago a wolf ran into a Brinkoys tractor while loading onions. ‘I’m not sure. The wolf is not shy at all, as many people think. What would he have done if I wasn’t in the cabin?

Nijhoff had a conversation with police on Wednesday about the diminishing sense of security. “Police are acknowledging their concerns, but say they are not allowed to do anything. However, they are advocating that vision reports be reported as well. The Zwiggelte dairy farmer recently stopped letting his young employees go home in the dark.” We have a lot of responsibility to our employees. I hear from my friends that parents don’t go to bed before their kids are out of the bar. Mosquitoes are also warned. I always walk my dog ​​around 11 pm. That round got shorter now as the wolf seemed to be closer.

The number of animals killed in Drenthe recorded by BIJ12 for this year was 343 head of sheep and 14 head of cattle as of September 20. The results of the DNA test are not yet known regarding the recent attacks on cattle.

According to the department head, it’s up to the mayors to do something about managing the wolf. “If necessary, they will feed the wolves.”


The County of Drenthe and the municipality of Westerfield will hold a meeting next Wednesday about the wolf in southwest Drenthe and the unrest this is causing among the residents of the municipality. There was room for seventy people, but due to the great interest, that number was done. Expanded to about 150., RTV Drenthe reports. The county is also organizing a meeting next month for ranchers who reported wolf damage in the past year.

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