Two crisis meetings have been held following consecutive attacks on the Hautacam area for almost a month. One of them, filmed by a breeder, confirms that it is indeed a wolf. Thus, and faced with a repetition of earlier ties, the premier of the Hautes-Pyrénées authorized defensive attacks, within a very limited framework.
The shadow of a predator has been hanging over the Hautacam for more than three weeks now. Repeated attacks on sheep herds in this area have so far been spared, prompting many ranchers to bring their flocks back to the farm just days after taking them to mountain pasture. One of these predators was even filmed with a camera installed by a breeder’s son, identifying the nature of this large dog. Marie Aberet, who lost two sheep, said: “We put the camera where the sheep have their habits. We saw the wolf there killing a sheep, shaking this 60kg animal like a rag doll There we must die if there are no animals in the mountains, trees will grow and when there is fire we can call it a house… We were told to take money , it’s none of our business, then having the money to follow and compensate the predators but not to pay the nurses or the teachers We feel alone.
A view shared by Stéphane Sempé, one of the first breeders to be bruised by this predation, three days into labor. “We do all the work and now we’ll have to gather the flock every evening, park them behind the nets and guard them. Apart from the daytime work on the farm. We didn’t ask for this wolf and today, former breeders are talking about selling rather than complying with all these devices…”
Is this the wolf observed so far in Béarn?
Faced with this situation, two meetings took place between the breeders and the authorities, the first meeting on Tuesday in Artalens-Souin and the second meeting on Thursday evening in the province. This Friday, the prefect of the Hautes-Pyrénées issued an order allowing defensive firing. “Even while we had to wait for the results of DNA testing on feces taken by OFB agents, the four experts who viewed the video all agreed that it was a wolf,” said Pierre Landaburu, head of OFB 65. The genetic data will allow us to know if it is the individual observed so far in Béarn. Its presence will modify the pastoral approach of herders, who will have to be more present on summer pastures. “
Because, in the field of the ISaby pastoral team, these defensive shots will follow a very specific framework defined by the October 23, 2020 interministerial ordinance, wolves are a protected species under the order. Environment law. Pierre Landaburu pointed out: “This is an insulting request from the sheriff after reiterating the attacks. It’s about simple defensive shooting. wolves come to the pack grouped together and protected. , there will be no trace of wolves. At the same time, wolf monitoring has been established by OFB and Pyrenees National Park. Half a dozen photo traps have been deployed. A clock to view damage and expertise reports. Also established to restore hair or feces.
Wolf, but also a wild dog
If some predators carried wolf legs, others were attributed to stray or wandering dogs. Pierre Landaburu continued: “Expert reports have reported various injuries on the ewes”. Large bugs have also been reported in the Pibeste field, with attacks on Saint-Pé-de-Bigorre. The head of OFB emphasized: “Cities must do a radical job with feral dogs, by enacting municipal decrees banning them. damage in the herd.”