The presence in the Pyrénées-Atlantiques of a "hybrid animal between a wolf of Italian Alps origins and a dog" has been proven by DNA analysis, announced Tuesday, the prefecture, which has created a "waiting cell" To ensure the return of the wolf to the region. "Two biological samples collected in the Ossau valley and analyzed by the Laboratory Antagene in Lyon confirm" this presence, explained the prefecture in a statement. These samples were taken after attacks by different sheep herds in the summer.
"Of the 17 reports of damage since 11 May, the wolf's responsibility does not exclude, without being certain that it is formally or stray dogs," the statement said. However, the prefecture announces: "taking a decree that authorizes the shooting of simple defense by the breeders, the establishment of a departmental intelligence unit and, in case of inefficiency of these operations, reinforces the defensive fire, to ten fencers".
"We do not want it"
The prefecture could not say when the last presence of the wolf was in the department. "At least a hundred years", said Pampi Sainte-Marie, breeder in Lantabat (Basque Country). "The wolf has been exterminated here for almost a century, and officially we are told that this hybrid species is from Italy!" Julien Lassalle, breeder of 500 ewes in Lourdios-Ichère (valley of the Aspe) regretted "future measures that to be late. More than 150 ewes have been killed since April "" The wolf is like the bear, we do not want it, it is bad for the band to [Nicolas] Hulot ", he says when the Minister of Ecological Transition has planned the reintroduction of two bears in the autumn in the Pyrénées-Atlantiques.
Last month, the FNSEA, the chambers of agriculture and the shepherd associations had asked the state to grant permission for a strengthening of the measures against the attacks of wolves. The increase in the adult wolves population observed by the National Office for Hunting and Wildlife (ONCFS) at the end of the winter of 2018 (430 wolves counted so far, an increase of 20% since last year) and the many births of puppies which it generates in a revival of predator attacks on herds, reminded agricultural organizations.