Green groups join forces to demand an end to “Dark Ages” lupine cull
A COLLECTIVE of eight environmental groups has called for the regional government of Asturias to stop a cull of the protected Iberian wolf.
Since December last year, the Principality of Asturias has authorised the legal hunting of the species in a bid to stop “out of control” attacks on local livestock.
But opponents of the plan – which has so far seen five wolves shot dead by hunters – claim that the permitted cull, combined with the illegal poisoning which accounts for as many as 50 deaths per year, could bring about the destruction of the species.
Even though the animal is listed as under threat from extinction, its numbers have risen in recent years from 200 in 1970 to almost 3,000 today.
The collective – which includes the Association for the Conservation of the Ibeian Wolf, the Platform for the Defence of the Cordillera Cantrabica and various bird groups – is blaming the regional government for the wolf’s population explosion in recent years.
“The wolf has fallen victim to mismanagement. The regional government has failed to implement measures to control the Iberian wolf, which is protected by national and European laws. The species is being made a scapegoat for every single attack on livestock throughout Asturias, and it is now falling victim to a ploy from the Dark Ages,” the group said in a statement.
Under regional laws, month-long culls automatically come into effect when more than 1 per cent of the total livestock is attacked and killed by wolves.
Last year, a total of 7 per cent of sheep, goats and calves was lost to animal attacks, according to local farmers, who blame the Iberian wolf.