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Appeal lodged over wolf death sentence

Two environmental groups say a decision to kill three wolves believed to be preying on livestock in Switzerland is one-sided and must be reversed.

This content was published on August 19, 2009 - 11:17

Pro Natura and the WWF said on Wednesday that they have filed legal motions to halt the hunt for two wolves in canton Valais and one in canton Lucerne. The country's wolf management plan is "clearly to the detriment" of the canine predators, the groups said.

Pro Natura and WWF maintain that flocks need adequate protection. On August 1, Switzerland's national day, fireworks drove sheep out of an enclosure in the Dix Valley, in canton Valais, which led to a wolf attack. The flock had been watched over by two mountain dogs and a donkey.

"That one such fluke event is enough to declare open-season on a wolf makes the federal wolf management policy implausible," said Mirjam Balmer, a project leader at Pro Natura, in a statement.

Since mid-May more than 100 sheep have been killed by wolves in cantons Valais, Bern, Fribourg and Lucerne. Valais and Lucerne authorities said earlier this month that three wolves involved in these incidents could be shot.

Wolves were driven out of Switzerland in the 19th century. They started to return about ten years ago from neighbouring Italy and have begun to form packs again.

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