What is permissible and what is not permissible if the wolf attacks another animal? It’s time for legal clarity | Opinion

In light of the fact that the wolf sometimes attacks farm animals as well, it’s important to know where we stand in the countryside, and what is and isn’t allowed if an animal is attacked, says Cyprien Boist.

We knew the wolf only from fairy tales, a few years ago as the newest resident. This is cool, says something about nature and biodiversity. The fact that it is a predator at the top of the food chain makes it so special.

Its arrival requires more adaptation from the rural population than the arrival of the bald eagle or otters. Animal keepers are expected to properly protect their animals with better fencing. This is not happening enough at the moment, although support is available there.

The government can be expected to: a) advise animal owners and help keep animals safe; b) quickly confirm whether the wolf has made an attack and that the damage will be compensated; c) He has a vision about where a wolf can and cannot live, and about how many wolves are in the area (as with wild boar, red deer, and red deer). The government still has some work to do on this.

Almost untouchable

The protected position of the wolf makes it complicated. The animal is almost untouched. Only problem wolves can be dealt with. This does not contribute to the support and image of the wolf. Beavers (also very protective) can be hunted in some cases. This is already happening in Limburg and since this month in Gelderland.

Classifying the wolf as a wolf problem sounds simple, but it is not. A wolf that takes a sheep is not a problem wolf yet, it only becomes one wolf when it becomes a pattern. The concept is individual, it belongs to a specific animal.

Thus, the herd to which such a specific animal belongs is not automatically a group of problem wolves. This is only the case when the behavior of that one problem wolf is taken over by the rest of the herd.

What is allowed?

What is permissible and what is not permissible if it belongs to the wolf? In principle, we should keep a distance between ourselves and the wolf. For the sake of a beautiful photo, not every photojournalist adheres to this strictly. Chasing a wolf that screams when it attacks animals probably won’t cause any problems. But what if we go further than that?

The starting point should be that all other means have been used and that you abide by the rules before the human attacks the wolf. This begins with the animal keeper who has to protect his livestock or herd. Only then can the next step be taken if necessary.

What if a firearm was used in a wolf attack? The user must legally own the weapon and there must be a direct relationship between the user of the firearm and the attacking animal. However, it is dangerous to critically test the use of a firearm and can have consequences for the gun’s licensing/hunting.

Warning shot?

A parker who does not have his dog on a leash and walks in a patch of forbidden nature has no excuse if his dog is attacked. And what should the police do if there is a report of a wolf attack? Was it a warning shot or not, then a directed shot?

Dutch legislation allows you to protect your own property or the property of others from an immediate threat (inclement weather/excessive weather). Does this take precedence over the inviolability of the wolf? This question has not yet been answered in the Netherlands. Since the wolf sometimes attacks farm animals, it is important to know where we stand in the countryside: what is allowed and what is not allowed if an animal is attacked.

Now that we don’t rank anything in the Netherlands about how many wolves can be established here and where wolves can settle, wolves may settle in places at high risk of farm animals as prey.

Active wolf policy

Norway and Sweden have a name that there is a lot of space and nature. There is an active policy of wolves in both countries. There the number of wolves allowed is determined and the surplus is hunted (as we do in the Netherlands with wild boars, red deer and deer).

Germany, Italy, France and Spain have been dealing with the wolf for some time. We should shed some light on that. We must not let it take its course, as happened with the animals in Oostvaardersplassen, which starved to death because they were not fed additionally.

Troubles in the countryside require clarity and action by the government. It is therefore hoped that not all lawyers from the LNV and the provinces will engage in the nitrogen approach, but there will also be scope to provide clarity on this issue. This is good for people, nature and certainly the wolf too.

Siebren Buist was born from Heerde in Groningen and a former prosecutor

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