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Danish farmers want new plan as wolves breed

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Danish farmers want new plan as wolves breed
File photo: Morten Juhl/Scanpix
11:35 CEST+02:00
The chairperson of Denmark's agriculture council says farmers should be allowed to hunt wolves, with the animal breeding much faster than expected.

Wolf litters are now so large that they are posing a serious threat to Danish farmers, domesticated animals and recreational use of the Danish countryside, reports news agency Ritzau.

Wolves only returned to Denmark as recently as 2012, migrating north from Germany. The animal is last known to have had habitats in the Scandinavian country in the 19th century.

Now Martin Merrild, chairperson with the Danish Agricultural and Food Council (Landbrug & Fødevarer) has called for the existing wolf management plan from 2014 to be updated.

READ ALSO: Denmark's 'wolf return' in need of action: professor

“This [the 2014 plan, ed.] is based on us having a few roaming wolves that were expected to keep more or less away from human activity. But when they breed in this way in such a short period of time, we can end up with a significant number of wolves that have nothing to fear and have no natural enemies,” he said to Ritzau.

“A farmer is not even allowed to hunt them, even if they attack his domesticated animals, so the situation is becoming unsustainable,” he added.

A video shot in West Jutland showing what appear's to be Denmark's first family of wolves, with up to eight cubs, prompted the response from Merrild.


A wolf and cubs were photographed in West Jutland earlier this week. A video recording later showed the cubs to number up to eight. Photo: Charlotte Brask/Scanpix

The 2014 management plan protects wolves while also providing compensation for sheep livestock owners who lose animals to wolf attacks, as well as subsidies for animal owners who need to install wolf-proof fences.

Merrild told Ritzau that these measures are no longer enough.

READ ALSO: Wolves walked 500 kilometres to return to Denmark

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