Copa-Cogeca resigns from EU group on wild animal attacks

Copa-Cogeca resigned today from the EU platform set up to find solutions to conflicts arising from large carnivores attacks (wolves, brown bear, Eurasian lynx, wolverine) on livestock farms, warning farmers concerns are being ignored and livelihoods put at risk. In Europe the number of bears now totals 17,000, 12,000 wolves, 9,000 Eurasian lynx, 1,000 wolverines in rural areas where farming is the main economic activity.

Copa-Cogeca Secretary-General Pekka Pesonen warned: “The EU Commission is not listening to the farming community’s concerns and therefore we decided to exit from the Platform. We joined this Platform on co-existence between people and large carnivores as we believed it would help deal with the problems but no solutions have been found. The platform focuses on good practices for conserving large carnivores instead of identifying solutions to improve the situation for local rural people. This is unacceptable. Attacks on livestock farms are on the rise, particularly in countries like France, Finland, Sweden, causing severe production and income losses and threatening farmers livelihoods.”

He continued: “The strong protection of these emblematic species starts threatening the existence of grassland rich in biodiversity that is maintained by grazing with many other protected species depending on it. Implementing the EU Habitat Directives itself becomes an obstacle in addressing conflicts arising from the presence of large carnivores. Looking into how the EU Habitats Directive can evolve is crucial taking into account the dynamic growth large carnivores in many regions of the EU. Solely focusing on protections measures is no longer an option. Solutions must be found.”

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