• Germany's news in English
 

Fine for first Rhineland wolf kill since 1879

Published: 17 Jan 2013 15:21 GMT+01:00

He shot the wolf last April on land in the Westerwald forest which he leases for hunting. The pensioner remorsefully turned himself in to police saying he had shot what he had taken for a stray dog after his deer.

The court ordered him to pay €3,500 - an estimate of 70 days of his income - for contravening the Animal Welfare Act. The court ruled the wolf had not been hunting the man's deer when it was killed and so the man had not been justified in shooting it.

The defence, which were pushing for all charges to be dropped, relied on the testimony of a behavioural biologist which threw doubt on whether the animal had really been a wolf.

Click here to see pictures of wolves around Germany

However, the court ruled instead in favour of conclusive testimony from experts of the Senckenberg Research Institute in Frankfurt, who said genetic tests on the body had proved it was a wolf originating from the Italian Alps.

However, the court said that although he should not have shot the wolf, the man had not broken Federal Conservation Act, because having never personally come across a wolf in the forest, he could not have known what it was.

The accused told the court that he had heard rumours of a wolf prowling around his part of the forest but had thought it so unlikely in that region that he had soon forgotten all about it, said the regional Rhein Zeitung on Thursday.

DAPD/The Local/jlb

Related links:

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

19:08 January 17, 2013 by Bulldawg82
That is pretty rough on the old man. How in the world are people supposed to tell a dog from a wolf when they have never seen a wolf before? A decision made by his peers would have better suited the man instead of the cold dead letter of the law. I think the judges have forgotten the intent of the law which was to protect the wolf from willful killing, not accidental.
19:43 January 17, 2013 by raandy
Are you kidding, this guy shot this as a wolf or someones family pet , he should have paid more. people like him should never have a firearm.
19:55 January 17, 2013 by Bulldawg82
Or a wild dog hunting the deer. My point is that one is a legal killing (but I understand that many don't want any dog shot) and the other is not. Unless, you have actually seen wolves, how are you supposed to tell them apart? If his intent was to actually kill a wolf, then he wouldn't have turned himself in. Not a very good encouragment to show people that they should turn themselves in when they realised they broke a law.
20:51 January 17, 2013 by Steve1949
He should have been fined much more than what he was. Yes, I am one that doesn't believe in shooting dogs. This old fart I think just doesn't like animals. The law was in no way rough on this guy.
21:15 January 17, 2013 by MaKo
Just out of curiousity... would he have been allowed to just shoot a dog? Because that's not a very nice thing to do, either.
21:27 January 17, 2013 by Harry Grouse
Any one can pull a trigger young or old killing an animal does not make you a man. I´m ashamed of this so called man why not copy the ignorance of the american and canadian can you not set a proper example I have been waiting for this. So much for welcoming the Wolf. So why can a person nor hubt a hunter why is that not wrong. Wolves are friends of people who care for nature and animals so why is it you can kill our friends and hide behind the law. May you know the rath of man and animal!
23:57 January 17, 2013 by Dalmation
Mix it with the horsemeat and lets make burgers. (Bad Joke)
06:45 January 18, 2013 by MattyB
I want some of you bleeding hearts to go up and snuggle the next wild dog you find. I've seen your average pet dog viciously rip apart a deer caught in its backyard, wonder what a wild one would do?

He should have been fined, but drop the outrage. He did, after all, turn himself in.
08:14 January 18, 2013 by Lawdog20636
You guys are killing me. I know some of you eat meat. Where do you think it comes from? Just because you buy it from the grocery store doesn¦#39;t mean someone else didn¦#39;t kill it for you. This man made a mistake in recognizing the difference between a wild dog and a wolf that was chasing a deer. It took DNA testing to confirm identification of this animal. Easy to judge when you¦#39;re reading an article posted online.

I would like to sit down with this 72 year old man and eat a meat dinner while drinking a beer with the 86 year old that escaped last week for a beer on his birthday. It doesn¦#39;t get any better than eating meet, drinking beer, and storytelling from older individuals.
09:56 January 18, 2013 by raandy
MattyB This article appeared a while back, after it happened. He turned himself in because he owned or rented the land that the wolf was shot on and they were going to check the ballistics of his firearms and those at the shooting club in his area, so not points there.

He shot it because he could,with no regard for whether it was wild or domestic,left it there where it fell (dumb mistake).

This nimrod gives all those that are responsible hunters and gun owners a bad name,
10:02 January 18, 2013 by BR549
I'm a long-time hunter (Jäger) in Germany, and would like to share a little information with the folks making comments here. Firstly, the hunter that shot the wolf is a "Pächter" which means he pays for a certain amount of land (Revier) for hunting. It is his responsibility to manage and protect the leased land / wildlife as a conservationist and hunter working with Foresters and land management.

In his Revier, foresters provide him a plan of which animals must be harvested and which not. It is simply not a "shooting spree". He is also responsible for the habitat and well being of the animals and fauna in his Revier. It is a BIG responsibility!

Now, for those bashing hunters in Germany - People letting their dogs run through the forest off the leash is a big problem and yes, there are wild dogs in the forest as well. I have personally seen several animals, more specially Roe Deer, mauled by both wild and dogs off the leash.

Secondly, people are going deeper into the forests for recreation. Mountain bikers are creating illegal trails through areas where animals such as European Red Stags, bed down. They do not do well being disturbed and it stresses them.

People are throwing more and more trash into fields and forests, and yes, it is the Jägers picking it up.

As a Pächter, he is supposed to protect the Revier and yes, he did make a mistake based on never having seen a Wolf or not expecting one. Yes, he turned himself in and I am certain he feels badly about it. Give the guy a break here, folks. The vast majority of hunters in this country love nature and understand the dynamics much better than most folks. especially those who can't distinguish a Teddy Bear from a Polar Bear and end up getting eaten at the zoo.

The training and requirements to get a right to become a Jäger is hard, time consuming and expensive. IF you make the grade, you are a part of a social class with standards and expectations, not a "Bubba" buying a $10.00 license and a rifle at Walmart.
11:02 January 18, 2013 by raandy
BR549 this was obviously a lone animal, so shoot first and check later?

I also hunt but I know my target and beyond and if Iam not sure of what I am shooting at ,,I don't and anyone that does is irresponsible.
11:12 January 18, 2013 by The-ex-pat
@10:02 January 18, 2013 by BR549

You make very valid points, but as you say, "The training and requirements to get a right to become a Jäger is hard, time consuming and expensive. IF you make the grade, you are a part of a social class with standards and expectations, not a "Bubba" buying a $10.00 license and a rifle at Walmart."

However I seem to remember when I did my Jagdschein some 20 years ago, animal identification was a HUGE part of the course and involved identifying silhouettes at large distances with binoculars, and a walk in the woods with the Miester identifying plants, birds and animals. One of the things that was stressed was the gait of similar animals to aid identification. Now I admit I have not hunted in 10 years, but the way a wolf moves and the way a dog moves are quite different. That saying I was not their, but knowing how some German hunters think, I suspect he thought that it was a hunting chance not to be missed, took the shot smiled to himself and was quite confident he would get away with it. However, bullet fragment analysis today is not what it was yesterday. Remorsefully handing himself in was just a$$ covering.
12:20 January 18, 2013 by BR549
@ raandy & ex-pat - You both have also made very valid points. Personally, I would not have shot nor left it there. Two things I wonder could have been factors, the time of day and his eyesight or overall health. I was reading in a Hunting Magazine that an elderly hunter shot a horse thinking it was a Doe Red Deer. He lost his license of course, but you know how it is here...hunting (as long as you re-new) and driver licenses are yours forever until something happens. I do think an eye test be mandatory every 3 years the hunting license is renewed.
16:40 January 19, 2013 by raandy
BR549 true story. A party of three hunters wanted to hunt on an elderly mans land, The spokesperson for the group knocked on the mans door and asked permission to hunt on his land. The old man explained to the hunter that his daughters old horse was in the pasture on the other side of the road and he would appreciate it if he would shoot the horse for him as he could not. The guy agreed and got back into the auto ,swearing about the old man and saying he would fix him for refusing, The guy drives doen the tote rd. to where the horse is laughs loads his gun and shoots the horse, his buddies wanting to get in on it jumped out and shot two of the mans cows.Cost them 7000 $s. :-)
Today's headlines
State leaders call for faster asylum processes
Refugees at a temporary reception centre in Baden Württemberg. Photo: DPA

State leaders call for faster asylum processes

Several state leaders called for more investment in processing asylum applications over the weekend as the backlog continues to put severe strain on current infrastructure. READ  

German sets Florida to Cuba speedboat record
Roger Klueh. Photo: Ernesto Mastrascusa / DPA

German sets Florida to Cuba speedboat record

A German businessman and power boating fanatic on Saturday broke a 57-year-old record for the fastest boat crossing between the United States and Cuba. READ  

Report: German refugee figures 'underestimated'
Migrants on a train on their way to the EU. Photo: Djordje Savic / DPA

Report: German refugee figures 'underestimated'

Germany has hosted more than 300,000 asylum seekers since the start of the year, said the daily Die Welt on Saturday, nearly 50,000 more than first thought, as Berlin prepares for a record influx of refugees in 2015. READ  

Migrant wounded in German police shooting
Photo: DPA

Migrant wounded in German police shooting

A Guinean migrant who caused a brawl in a home for asylum seekers in Germany was shot and seriously wounded by police, local media reported. READ  

July asylum applications hit 'all-time record'
An asylum seeker reception centre in Trier. Photo: DPA

July asylum applications hit 'all-time record'

More people applied for asylum in Germany in July than in any previous month on record, the Ministry for Immigration and Refugees announced on Friday. READ  

This Week in History
The 1,000s of Germans massacred after WWII
Germans fleeing from eastern Europe after the Second World War. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

The 1,000s of Germans massacred after WWII

Seventy years ago on Friday, a munitions depot exploded in the Czechoslovakian town of Ústí nad Labem. For the thousands of Sudeten Germans who lived in the town, the event was a death sentence. READ  

Minister seeks to rid laws of 'Nazi language'
In the center, Nazi lawyer Roland Freisler, who wrote laws that are partially still in existence today. Photo: German Federal Archive / Wikimedia Commons.

Minister seeks to rid laws of 'Nazi language'

Germany has made great efforts to purge legal system of remnants of Adolf Hitler's regime, but some laws still bear traces of the Nazi past. The Justice Minister wants to change this. READ  

Treason investigation of Netzpolitik halted
Netzpolitik published documents outlining the internal spy agency BfV's spy programmes and budget. Photo: DPA

Treason investigation of Netzpolitik halted

Update: Federal prosecutors announced on Friday they are suspending investigations of treason against 'digital rights' website Netzpolitik for 'the greater good' of upholding freedom of the press. READ  

Newborn baby found in Munich airport toilets
Munich Airport. Photo: DPA

Newborn baby found in Munich airport toilets

A newborn baby was found in a toilet in Munich airport on Thursday. Police so far have no clue as to who or where the mother is. READ  

Brit arrested in Munich for meth smuggling
Photo: BVZ/Zoll

Brit arrested in Munich for meth smuggling

A 50-year-old British woman is being held in custody in Munich on suspicion of attempting to smuggle two kilos of crystal meth out of Munich airport disguised as sweets. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Sport
Germany star scores own goal with PR gaffe
Features
'Women-only' parking: sensible or sexist?
Politics
Satire and reality blur in parody party's strife
National
13-year-old boy detained for trying to join Isis
Culture
Berlin restaurant serves up Greek Crisis Menu
Rhineland
Doctor on trial after woman wakes in morgue
Society
Six odd things Germans do in the summer
Sponsored Article
Outsourcing drives Apreel's Europe growth
Society
Police bust kinky Bavarian couple over painful love-making
Politics
Merkel brings Palestinian girl to tears
Hamburg
Amateur archaeologist finds Nazi gold hoard
National
Could Merkel learn a lesson in love from this doppelganger?
Travel
Why you should stay in Germany for the summer holidays
Sport
German press tell Schweinsteiger 'good riddance'
National
Hamburg gets a bouncing 100kg baby girl
Society
In North Germany, money sometimes DOES grow on trees
National
Hero mechanics stop Bavaria shooting spree
International
Denmark says that border controls are coming
National
Did hackers take control of German missile battery?
Politics
Munich gives gay pride green light
Business & Money
Berlin rent controls hit prices hard
National
Fighting to breastfeed in public without shame
Society
Ice cream for dogs 'gobbled up in one gulp'
Education
Are hotpants a feminist issue?
Rhineland
Lion cub reunited with mother
National
How the heatwave is cracking Germany's Autobahns
International
Why the French are more sympathetic to Greece than the Germans
Sponsored Article
Crans-Montana: International expat hub
Gallery
Police seize pensioner's WW2 heavy weapons haul
National
How to survive the Europe-wide heatwave
Sport
Is Schweini already out of the door at Bayern?
Politics
How German media shaped the Greece crisis
National
Car assembly robot crushes worker at Volkswagen
Rhineland
Weathermen red-faced over heatwave snow warning
Society
An eye for an eye? Mum protects child in playground with pepperspray
National
As it happened: Queen Elizabeth's final day in Germany
National
As it happened: Queen Elizabeth's second day in Germany
National
Queen Elizabeth II's first day in Germany - as it happened
National
Bus passengers tell fake racists where to get off
Politics
What's really in the Queen's handbag?
National
Germans say USA doesn't respect freedom
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

7,129
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd