Mecklenburg wolves allowed to devour €150,000 in livestock
The five wild wolves in the German state of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania can gorge themselves on up to €150,000 worth of sheep and other livestock, Agricultural Minister Till Backhaus said on Wednesday.
The sum earmarked in the state budget is meant to cover damages to farmers’ livestock herds and prevent the wolves from being killed to protect their prey, Backhaus said.
The wolf management plan also includes funding for livestock owners who want to use special fences, huts and dogs to protect their herds.
Several sheep have already been killed by the carnivorous canines, who returned to the region in 2000.
The Canis lupus, or grey wolf, was hunted in Germany beginning in medieval times. The species disappeared from the country in the 19th century, when they were driven east to Poland and Russia.
But the wolf has been making a slow return to Germany despite residents’ fears and several poaching incidents with hunters. Experts estimate there are about five packs totalling in some 45 wolves in the northeastern part of the country. The five wolves in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania are believed to have wandered into the country from Poland.
In June a hunter in Saxony-Anhalt was charged with killing a male wolf that lived with a female and their young cubs at the military training facility in Altengrabow.