New Update 25.2.2017: Italy the latest country to permit killing of wolves

March 8th, the final decision has been postponed until March 30th. 
25. February 2017 from our colleague Dario Botti: According to Rinaldo Sidoli, the Wolf plan (Piano Lupo in Italian) is postponed for the second time, and it could be postponed to March 9, for the final vote. The Minister Galletti (Environment) wants to maintain the permit to kill wolves, although there is a majority of 11 regions against the slaughter. 
Update 1. February 2017: The decision about the Wolf plan has been postponed to February 23th (technical panel) and to a second date to be finally decided (political and final decision).
Original Story 26. January 2017: As most of you may have heard, Italy has approved the new Italian Wolf plan. This new Wolf plan includes derogations (killing) up to a maximum of 5% of the wolf population. This is what we know from the official communication of the government and from Media and this is nothing unexpected. We are trying to find out more about the details to clarify such questions:
  • Why should 5% of the Wolf population be killed at all?
  • 5% of what population: the total Italian population or the appennine or the alpine one or of the regional population?
  • Does the 5% include the current increasing number of Wolves illegally poached or not?
  • Who is the allowed to kill the wolves?
  • What about the permission procedures?
  • Who will decide which wolves, where and by whom to be killed?
As soon as our Italian partners know more about this evolving story, we will inform you and update this website.
After Daniza, now this! This is a total failure not only of the bureaucrats but also of the scientific community and the NGOs in Italy. Italy was a Best practice example on how to support and manage the return of the large carnivores. The concept, that the Wolf is a protected species in the EU is becoming  a farce. Why do we have European Legislation, if any country can override them and decide that the Wolf can be hunted and killed? Gudrun Pflüger, Large Carnivore Expert, European Wilderness Society
Gudrun Pflueger surrounded by wolves

31 thoughts on “New Update 25.2.2017: Italy the latest country to permit killing of wolves

  • UPDATE: According to Rinaldo Sidoli, the Wolf plan (Piano Lupo in Italian) is postponed for the second time, and it could be postponed to March 9, for the final vote. The Minister Galletti (Environment) wants to maintain the permit to kill wolves, although there is a majority of 11 regions against the slaughter. I would like remember that in Italy poachers kill between 160 and 500 wolves each year, and that the real number of wolf population is not known.

  • The wolves aren’t the problem. The problem is the human appetite for animal flesh, dairy, eggs. We are killing some 60 billion animals worldwide to satisfy human gluttony for animal products. No sea life is spared either, and commercial fisheries are collapsing due to over-fishing due to increased demand. We kill “livestock” (as if these “food” animals were nothing more than generic abstractions) and members of any and every other species (herbivores as well as predators) we force into conflict with the animals we enjoy killing for luxury foods. We’re the species that’s out of control.

  • This cruelty must stop today
    Let the Wolves in Peace

  • This cruelty must stop today
    Let the Wolves live in Peace …

  • Very sad and such an ignorant act. Sick humans with too much power and no brains.

  • For every Wolf you kill the spirits of many great Indians just liķe what the white eye did to many. The people who taught white eye how to live off and how to respect and give back to it.
    Then the white eye push peace loving to the west by fork tounged white eye .Same these white eyes did to our black population. It’s called torchure.
    White eye ďid bad thing to even their own kind.
    White eye have good and bad people. Same goes for all other ethnic groups.

  • OMG. This really has to stop. How can them men smile at the camera? It is 1005 EVIL.

  • My family is from Italy, this makes me sick and disgusted! How could anyone be so cruel and ruthless to kill like that. We humans need to be tree than that. Wolves are an important part of nature’s balance. We should be protecting them. Man as no right to take them from their families.

  • Stop killing the wolves. It is not humane to keep killing off the wild life. How many female wolves have been killed that have had babies, now those babies are going to starve to death because of you people.

  • There is no justification for killing these magnificent creatures

    They are apex predators and are vital to the ecosystem

    One only has to look at how Yellowstone changed for the better since their reintroduction.

    They must be protected throughout the world

    Farmers can simply be compensated as they are in many countries

    All the good work of recent years can be undermined very quickly

    Shame on slovenia and Italy but more so Slovenia

  • Totally agree with you.

  • Good point… but sometimes it feels as if it were 1400 again 🙁

  • Dear all,
    In my opinion, the point is not if wolf faces extinction or not (but it is to note that some european populations have very low genetic diversity). I think it is a big error trying to control number of predators (unscientific and non-sense itself) by absolutely irrational, unscientific and counterproductive means. Culling wolves destabilizes their behaviour and it doesn’t help humans (and their livestock). A lot of literature exists about men-predator convivence and good practices. We are in 2017, not in the middle age! So… why culling?

  • Dear Mr Wassermann,

    thank you for quoting the IUCN red list. If you take the time and read the comment carefully, it confirms that the Wolf is under great threat in Europe, even though globally he may not be threatened to be extinct anymore.

    Continued threats include competition with humans for livestock and game species, exaggerated concern by the public regarding the threat and danger of wolves, and fragmentation of habitat, with resulting areas becoming too small for populations with long-term viability.
    Although the Grey Wolf still faces some threats, its relatively widespread range and stable population trend mean that the species, at global level, does not meet, or nearly meet, any of the criteria for the threatened categories. Therefore, it is assessed as Least Concern (LC). However, at regional level, several wolf populations are seriously threatened. In North America, some of the reintroduced populations are still threatened; and in Europe,

  • Fully agree!

  • Dear Mr Stefano,

    you are right, the decision about the Wolf plan has been postponed until February 23th (technical panel) and to a second date to be decided politically and the be announced as the final decision. Nevertheless, the current proposal still on the table includes derogation measures and it is these which we deem unnecessary especially since we know that they are often abused by hunters, wishing to kill a wolf without reason.

    As pointed out by a recent scientific research (Fernández-Gil, A., Naves, J., Ordiz, A., Quevedo, M., Revilla, E., & Delibes, M. (2016). Conflict Misleads Large Carnivore Management and Conservation: Brown Bears and Wolves in Spain. PloS one, 11(3), e0151541), wolf culling “is counterproductive from damage-management and conservation perspectives”. So… Italy, listen to the voice of science, … and fight poaching!!!!

    here is the LINK to petition:

  • Wolves are not endangered at all!

  • Hi Alberto,
    As Gudrun is currently unavailable, let be quickly respond. I am assuming you are referring to the headline photo and not the one where she is lying in a meadow surrounded by a hungry wild wolf pack of 7 wolves. This photo symbolizes the trophy hunting of wolves. Hunters regard the killing of a wolf as one of their highlights just like trophy hunters travel to Africa to kill Lions. This link is typically the driving force behind the wolf management plans that include killing of animals, regardless if this is in Slovenia, Slovakia, Spain, now Italy, Switzerland or Romania. From a research point of view, killing wolves is not justified. On the contrary, killing a wolf in a pack often causes the pack to break up, resulting in 5 individual animals who are much more likely to attack livestock closer to farms. Only packs hunt the large herd of herbivores. There are also sufficient studies that show, that wolves have a positive impact on tourism. We are therefore opposing any hunting of wolves regardless of the pretence. The price of killing a wolves varies between € 2360 and € 14.000 depending on the region.

    Max Rossberg

  • Dear Gudrun, this photo was not taken in Italy. Could you please explain where it comes from and why you used it for this article? Thank you.

  • This type of killing of endangered predators such as wolves is designed specifically to please farming industries and the hunters, nothing else. The use of language and media persecution against predators has been successful to demonize them and create an atmosphere of fear to start culling or hunting. We need predators so that ecosystems are protected.

  • This is terrible news about killing wolves; I absolutely agree with Gudrun Pfluger.
    Is this a hunter-dream come true? Who or what is behind this? Protection is protection.

  • This week the Government of Slovenia stated it was permitting the killing in 2017 of 10 wolves (more than 20 per cent of the population), including 4 alpha males. This decision is supposedly based on ‘expert’ advice from the country’s forestry commisssion. However, it goes against the evidence of the EU-funded research project SloWolf which showed that killing wovles breaks up packs and leads to more attacks on livestock. With fewer than 50 wolves in the country, why do any have to be killed at all? Of course, the hunting lobby has a large influence here: at the same time 113 bears are also going to be killed. And yet both wolves and bears are protected species.

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