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Save the wolf, EU environment ministers urge Brussels – POLITICO


EU environment ministers are howling that the European Commission should do more to protect wolves.

Twelve of the bloc’s environment ministers reacted to a European Parliament resolution that called to downgrade the gray wolf’s protection status to help livestock farmers, by urging the Commission to preserve its place as a protected species.

“I firmly believe that the European Commission will keep the same responsible approach to the protection of rare species as it has done up to now,” Slovak Environment Minister Ján Budaj said in a press statement after sending a letter to EU Environment Commissioner Virginijus Sinkevičius on Tuesday.

In a resolution from November 2022, the European Parliament called for the “mitigation of the protection status” of the wolf, and said that the “negative impact of attacks on livestock by the growing wolf population is increasing.”

Budaj and 11 other environment ministers said that issues in the European Parliament’s resolution are considered “important and must be continued,” but that ministers “unequivocally reject the resolution’s tendency to weaken the legal protection of the wolf”

The right way forward is to promote policies that will make it possible to compensate “fairly and without unnecessary administrative burdens, for the potential damage caused, in particular, to livestock,” they say.

The letter was initiated by the Slovak minister and co-authored by Bulgaria, Germany, Greece, Spain, Ireland, Cyprus, Luxembourg, Austria, Portugal, Romania and Slovenia. 

The letter arrived as the wolf that killed Commission President Ursula von der Leyen’s pony was saved from death’s door as a shooting permit expired last night.

But that could just be a stay of execution for the wolf code-named GW950m, as a new permit has already been applied for, a spokesperson for the Hannover region said Tuesday.

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