Shepherd: between dogs and wolves…and tourists

At the age of 14, Julien Valet left university … before finding a new path, her way with the herd and entering another school, that of the shepherd school. “With the exception of the shepherds’ school, we did not learn to manage predators or mass travel,” two phenomena that have greatly complicated the daily lives of Julien and his wife Aurélie, both are shepherds, formerly in ‘Isoard (Alps), now Puy Mary. There is no course to understand this new reality, no know-how imparted from the elders who have never faced it.
So you have to adapt and deal with it, learn to live with wolves, guard dogs, hikers and trailers who often forget the basic rules of the mountains and dynamic kingdoms. object. “There are people who want to pet sheep or guard dogs, except sheep who like dogs do not necessarily want…”, the young shepherd’s smile in the second consecutive season of the shepherd group. sheep come from Puy. Mary. Breeders deliver a herd of about 568 ewes to the experienced couple from early July to early October.

Getting travelers back on track…

To put these two-legged or brazen sheep back on track, Julien draws her weapon of choice: a smile and, most of all, a word. Unstoppable. “As soon as we see a hiker walking alongside the pack with or without the dog, we try to communicate to explain some safety rules: keep your dog on a leash, on a leash leash, don’t lift the stick if the Guard Dog is moving forward… There’s an entire generation that has never been in contact with animals,” explained last week to the Sheriff’s Shepherd, who thus uses uses his staff every day … as a pilgrim to avoid conflicts of use and potential accidents. first time in front of the gendarmerie.
In this awareness mission, Puy Mary shepherds and shepherds as well as herders are supported by the joint organization of the Grand website as well as the State providing the information board. Attached to fences, near relevant hiking trails, they indicate behaviors to be followed and invite respect for the work of shepherds. However, the messages that Julien Valet considered too discreet and not convincing enough:
“We shot segments in front of one of them for 48 hours, and the only person who stopped to read it was a child,” lamented the shepherd.

Red light, not giving way

“Behavior in the mountains is like walking on the road, if you never run a red light and give way, there is more risk of an accident,” he imagined to the congressional police chief and the mixed union before many more offensive information, especially on New Year’s Eve. of a summer will see a huge crowd on the ridges and roads of the Cantal Massif. Likewise, he would welcome increased support for breeders in training their guard dogs, as well as the control of these bipedal guardians in areas of conflict of use. . “I agree with your speech, which is both right and hearty. It is important to move towards peaceful relations,” added Premier Castel.
“The goal is not to close the mountain but to learn to work together as we do with the mixed union to avoid accidents by diverting, for example, a small portion of the hiking path.” , the shepherd begged, noting the efforts due to the structure.
Because behind the postcard of the ewes framed by their guardians were the shepherds of the Pyrenees, Tony Joanny, president of the pastoral group, recalls that the stakes were nothing more and nothing less. compared with the long-term survival of oocyte reproduction in Cantal. A production process that the wolf, which has been installed on the Monts du Cantal since 2018, has been enamored with – just as it destroys bleach in the field – before this collective flock of sheep takes over provides a answer to the suffering of livestock farmers.
A proven response from the first season in 2021 even if the threat from predation can never be completely ruled out. Proof: since the beginning of July, three bugs have been attacked in foggy weather. The new attacks raise the question of taking the equipment available to breeders up a notch: simple defensive shots, reinforced or even intervened by the wolf brigade to defend themselves. protected from predators has understood “that he has a free McDo here”, photo Julien the Waiter. Measures that the State services will now look like, pointed out that the Castel police chief.

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