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17 sheep are killed or missing this year, Josef Geisler says in Facebook post.

Deputy Governor of Tyrol wants to shoot wolves

Deputy Governor of Tyrol wants to shoot wolves

Josef Geisler is looking for a way to help farmers against increasing wolf attacks

After a week of stories about missing sheep in Tyrol, the 1st Deputy Governor Josef Geisler spoke out on Friday (18 June) about finding a permanent solution to the problem. He is looking for a way to help farmers protect their herds from predators, while complying with EU law.

He is advocating for the adoption of the Finnish model, according to which “problem wolves” are removed – i.e. shot down.

His concern addressed the relatively recent adoption of Austria’s 3 step herd protection plan. The plan outlines specific measures to counter wolf attacks in the country, as well as providing a specific framework that aims to protect the lives of both sheep and wolves while giving farmers the option to defend their herds if necessary.

The steps are as follows:

Prevention. The combined use of guard dogs and mobile fences, that should create a sufficient protective layer for the herds.

Protection. It will take the form of a live digital warning system that tracks predators in a given area.

If all else fails, and the wolf gets through the fences, the guard dogs and is dangerously close to people – step 3 should be considered, however, this is a last resort. This is the point where a farmer can legally shoot a wolf.

250 sheep were torn up in Tyrol during the past year

250 sheep have been torn up in the region during the past year, this is what Josef Geisler posted on Facebook. This leads us to the main problem – Tyrol is an alpine region.

The problem with fencing, guard dogs and tracking systems is the fact that the region is extremely rugged. This makes the designation and safeguarding of specific pasture regions very difficult, the territory is just too vast and mountainous.  

The national broadcasting company ORF reported that Geisler rejected the demand made by many sheep farmers for a “wolf-free Alpine region” but was firm on the subject of establishing control of the situation. He reaffirmed that this should be done by the grouping of smaller herds into larger units, fences or tracking of wolves, but at the same time, the geographic reality of Tyrol must be considered.

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