Wolf Hunting Still Banned in Austria

Wolf Hunting Still Banned in Austria

APA/APA/dpa/Bernd Weißbrod

 

Wolves in Austria remain protected from hunting, following a ruling by the European Court of Justice (ECJ) in Luxembourg on Thursday.

In a press release, the court stated that an exemption “is only to be granted if the wolf population is at a favourable conservation status, which is not the case in Austria.”

The decision follows a complaint from animal protection and environmental organisations after authorities in Tyrol authorised the killing of a wolf in 2022.

In response, the Tyrolean government sought clarification from the ECJ, arguing that wolf culling was based on “solid legal grounds and expert opinions.”

Environmental organisations WWF Austria and ÖKOBÜRO welcomed today’s ruling.

“This is an important clarification: for strictly protected species like the wolf, less severe measures such as herd protection take priority,” said WWF species protection expert Christian Pichler in a press release. “Shooting should only be a last resort.”

“There is no nationwide monitoring, and instead of actively documenting wolf populations, random sightings are relied upon in this country,” noted Gregor Schamschula, environmental lawyer at ÖKOBÜRO. “According to the ECJ, this approach is clearly illegal and must be halted immediately.”

According to WWF’s latest tally in 2022, there were 45 wolves in Austria.

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