French Fight Erupts Over Marauding Wolves

Shepherds want to hunt sheep killers at will
By Mary Papenfuss,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 26, 2011 3:26 AM CDT

Call it Yellowstone sur Seine. French shepherds are demanding the surging wolf population be culled following increasing sheep deaths by the growing packs of protected canines. Wolves are now roaming the Vosges Mountains on the Alsace-Lorraine border for the first time in 80 years. Some experts predict the wolves could reach forests near Paris in a decade if not controlled, reports the Independent. A handful of Italian wolves in the Alps have multiplied to some 200 animals in 20 packs. But that's bad news for sheep, so a group of Alpine shepherds and politicians are petitioning for the right to hunt the animals at will.

Wolves can currently only be killed by government marksmen or specially trained shepherds during an attack on their flocks. Sheep flocks are being "plundered" by the wolves because leaders are "blindly following" the advice of environmentalists, complained a local mayor. Last weekend 62 ewes plunged into a ravine fleeing a wolf. There have been 66 attacks in the area so far this year. (Read more France stories.)

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