Sheep farmers detained staff members of La Vanoise National Park (FR)

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3 staff members of the French National Park Vanoise have been held hostage by sheep farmers

The president, the Director and other staff members of La Vanoise National Park have been held hostage since the evening of the 1st of September by about 50 sheep farming representatives of the French community of Bramans, during 15 hours.

The sheep farmers are demanding further measures from the French government to protect their herds against wolf attacks:  they want a shooting permit in case of acute attacks on herds, as well as an additional shooting permit for 5 more wolves in the Department of Savoie until the end of the year, including in the core zone of the National Park.

Even though the return of the wolf to the French Alps brings with it a number of problems for the ranchers that have to be taken seriously, the farmers´ current method of undue deprivation of freedom is totally unacceptable.  No occupational group has the right to act this way.

The National Park administrators and staff of Alpine protected areas take the concerns of ranchers very seriously.  However, for a regulation of wildlife even outside protected areas there have to be clear guidelines on how to ensure a viable population status and on unreasonable damages occur despite the presence of herd protection measures.

France has one of the best developed and probably most coherent National Park concepts in all of Europe, which is distinguished in particular by the strict and efficient protection of core zones. This protection must not be weakened, or the credibility of nature protection and of a sustainable nature protection policy could be jeopardized.

EUROPARC expresses its profound support to La Vanoise National Park.

Information provided by Alparc