Thursday 13 August 2020 | 15

A gang attempts to trap a wolf in the Alps

A few kilometres from the border between France and Italy the Écrins massif contains a majestic national park, home to thousands of species of animal, including mammals, birds and insects. Wolves are among the animals living in this protected area, between Huez, Briançon and Gap. Since they returned to France over the Italian Alps they have been constantly targeted by farmers, local politicians and representatives of the State. A few days ago a gang tried to trap and butcher one of these wolves, whose natural regulatory rôle is so beneficial to the ecosystems of our mountains. We are complaining in order to ensure that there can be no doubt that such crimes will not go unpunished.

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The wolves living in the Écrins National Park are constantly persecuted by local farmers and poachers! Last year we had already submitted a complaint against the 'Front de libération du Champsaur' (Champsaur Liberation Front) for conspiracy to destroy a protected species and conspiracy to attempt to destroy a protected species. Then this Summer, only a few days short of that sordid anniversary, it happened again.

“Out of love for his animals” he reckons – but he won't get away with it!

A sheep-farmer who also runs a shop, an inn and a bed-and-breakfast 'denounced' himself in the local press

« One night we went on patrol, with a live ewe as bait. We waited twelve hours. Nothing. We got fed up so put everything back in the van. And that's when we saw it: as we were leaving it was 20 metres behind us, sitting watching us. »

Even attempting to harm a wolf is a serious offence!

We submitted a complaint about this on 31 July this year, because luring wolves with a view to killing them violates the ban on destroying animals belonging to protected species and constitutes an offence under the environment code. Destroying an animal belonging to a protected species is punishable by two years' imprisonment and a fine of 150,000 Euros, which is doubled if the offences are committed in the heart of a National Park; and if there has been conspiracy to commit the offence (i.e. if it was planned by several people) the punishment is seven years' imprisonment and a fine of 750,000 Euros. The environment code states that attempting to commit such a crime is subject to the same penalties. In fact it is deemed to be a serious offence.

Illegal and totally illogical persecution

Each year more and more wolves are moving into and settling in France, with no attack on a human ever being recorded. Yet each year the State authorizes an increasing number of them to be killed despite the fact that in theory they are protected. This year the size of their territory has remained the same and their numbers have not increased. We have written to the Minister of Ecology to request that the shooting of wolves be suspended.

Until wolves are properly protected in our country we will fight every step of the way to ensure that there can be no doubt that such crimes will not go unpunished. The wolves and all the animals in the Alps must be able to benefit from vast territories in order to live free, and humans from being happy about it! Our complaint relating to conspiracy to destroy animals of a protected species in the heart of a national park or a natural reserve was submitted on 31 July 2020.

Translated from the French by Patricia Fairey

Julia Mothé
Hr blog

In the subject

"Museaux & Sacs à Dos" – two athletes taking action for animals
At the Chimpanzee Conservation Centre in Guinea our closest cousins start to live again.

Comments 15

I accept that publication of my comments is subject to the code of conduct.

Jolyb | Monday 17 August 2020

Parce que nous sommes tous égaux et que chacun a le droit de vivre

Aurelia | Sunday 16 August 2020

Stop à l'acharnement sur les animaux ils ont tout autant le droit d'exister dans ce monde que nous, voir plus.

Tina | Sunday 16 August 2020

Moi j'appelle ça dès assassins aussi bien pour le loup que pour la brebis c'est dégueulasse ils méritent la prison 😱😱😱👎👎👎☠️☠️☠️

anne | Friday 14 August 2020

Quand donc, y aura-t-il un réveil pour appliquer la loi et mettre ces bandits à l'ombre et à l'amende?