The European Commission has decided that farmers and livestock owners can now receive full compensation for investments and damages. More specifically, the compensation covers investments in protective measures and damages caused by large carnivores, such as wolves. In addition, the farmers also receive full compensation for indirect costs. Until now, farmers and livestock owners had to pay 20 percent of the costs themselves. This decision is a big investment to help the people adapting to new circumstances.
Please also read: The art of proper herd management
Direct and indirect costs covered
The decision of the European Commission allows farmers and livestock owners to claim direct and indirect costs. This means both investments for protection measures, as well as damages to livestock. For example, famers will get fully reimbursed when building electric fences, or when purchasing suitable guarding dogs. These measures will help protecting livestock from large carnivores, like the wolf. Member States can now also fully cover veterinary bills for treating wounded animals, as well as search and rescue operations for missing animals. Altogether, countries can now reimburse 100% of costs related to prepare and deal with the return of large carnivores in Europe.
The European Commission showed earlier that livestock protection is the key towards a coexistence with nature. This will contribute to the human-wildlife conflicts, which are actually always human-human conflicts about nature. Especially in Germany, France, Switzerland and Austria, people welcome full compensations as the wolf populations continue to grow. Earlier, the governments already decided to invest millions of euros in livestock management to provide proper protection.
Member States now can implement
As the European Commission opened the door for full compensation, it is now up to each EU member state to implement the decision. Most likely, these funds become available through the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development and state aid funds. The claim that protective measures are too expensive and a cull of large carnivores is more effective, became even less relevant. Studies showed that allowing culling actually increases poaching, which causes more problems for species protection. On the other hand, proper livestock protection measures are more effective than killing wolves.
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