A French national park has announced plans to sedate sheep so they are less terrified during wolf attacks.
They said the sedative would be a pheromone that is sprayed on the flock every fortnight.
The proposal followed a meeting between heads of the Mercantour National Park, located in the French departments of Alpes-Maritimes and Alpes-de-Haute-Provence, on 14th February.
According to a statement, the process is to “limit the panicked movements created by the presence of a wolf”.
After the meeting in February, Jean-Paul Celet, the prefect in charge of wolf policy at the Mercantour National Park, asked for the views of shepherds and breeders before implementing the measure, according to local media.
However, reports said the National Federation of Farmers’ Unions (FNSEA) replied two weeks later slamming the idea.
In a statement, they said: “You want to drug our ewes before they are attacked by predators in order to supposedly reduce the difficulties encountered by farmers (including indirect losses due to stress).
“Professionals in the sector said they are ‘stunned’ by this proposal, which they describe as scandalous, and, in their view, ‘disrespects the work of breeders and their values’.”
According to local media, there were 246 reported wolf attacks in the national parks of Ecrins, Mercantour and Vanoise in 2019.
As the parks are protected it is reportedly difficult to control the activities of roaming wolf packs.
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Story By: Ernest Bio Bogore, Sub-Editor: Joseph Golder, Agency: Newsflash
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