In a short period of time, 170 applications were submitted for the installation of wolf-resistant fences. This is what the Flemish Environment Minister Zuhal Demir said in the Flemish Parliament. As a result of recent incidents with wolves, coalition partners CD&V and Open Vld are pressing for additional measures. Minister Demir said that the current protocol is being evaluated and that there will be new consultations with all parties involved on October 12.
Last week in a meadow in Limburg Oudsbergen Two Shetland Ponies Killed by one or more wolfs. The incident sparked a debate about the place of the wolf in our society. Agricultural organizations such as the Boerenbond wondered aloud if there was a place for a wolf in Flanders. The organization called the Wolves Platform, a broad advisory body on the wolves issue, as “a measure for nothing”. A torch relay against the wolf is planned in Oudsbergen on Friday.
The debate has been extended today in the Flemish Parliament. Alliance partners CD&V and Open Vld are urging Minister Demir to take additional measures.
“There is fear in the field,” said CD&V Member of Parliament Tinny Rombots. She wants the minister to look beyond precautionary measures such as putting in place wolf-proof fences. Rombouts argue in favor of working with transmitters and a warning system or to investigate whether a wolf cannot be removed or relocated. Her fellow party member Joe Bronze suggests isolating the wolf himself. Stephen Koengrachts, MP for Open Vld, believes that “alternatives should be urgently investigated to bolster support for Wolf”.
Minister Demir regrets the “polarization” surrounding the file. “It doesn’t benefit anyone, especially the people in the area involved,” the North Carolina minister said. She promised to work on evaluating the wolf protocol and a new consultation with all stakeholders is scheduled for October 12.
According to her, various proposals are simply useless. “It is proposed to segregate the wolf area, but this is illegal. This is not allowed. And what would you do if the wolf came from Germany or Holland?” According to Minister Demir, a wolf can only be moved or removed if all preventive measures are taken. “But in the area in question, only 9 percent have a wolf-proof fence,” Demir said. According to her, last week’s interest has secured 170 applications for such a wolf-resistant fence.
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