After 46 years of protection, the Italian wolf population is threatened by a proposal of indiscriminate culling.
The New Conservation and Managing Plan:
- Mr. Galletti attempted to pass this bill on Feb. 2, 2017, but was blocked by public pressure. He is now planning to try again on the 23rd of Feb, despite the outcry of numerous associations, scientific institutions, foundations and even the Italian media and general public.
- Mr Galletti is planning to eradicate the hybrids (wild exemplars of wolf/dog genetic mix) from the wild and the ecosystem.
- We expose the irregularity of such plan and in particular the decision to manage a vulnerable species despite the lack of scientific data as imposed by EU norms and regulations. We are concerned on how the population of wolves will survive this project.
- No scientific authority or official force will be appointed to monitor the legality and modalities in which wolves will be distinguished by hybrids and collected, removed or destroyed.
- We fear the risk of human error on this matter: often it is impossible to distinguish a wolf by a hybrid, without the use of the DNA test.
- We are concerned about the impact the collection of hybrids from mixed packs could have on the dynamic of the pack which could dismember as a consequence.
- Solitary wolves are more aggressive. It has been proved that they will then attack easy target, as cattle. This would worsen the conflict human/wolf and have an impact on the wolf population (poaching).
- Italy must develop non-lethal strategies to manage the hybrid issue.
- The ministry is planning to eradicate and permanently enclose the hybrids without knowing how many wolves and how many hybrids are in the different regions.
- There is no legislation to properly and humanely hand in and manage captive wolves in permanent shelters.
- We suggest that hybrids exemplars could be tested, sterilized and released in order to not affect the dynamic of their pack but this could result in exemplars been split from their pack, forever.
- Pure wolves could be captured for DNA test and released but this also could result in exemplars been split from their pack, forever.
- Hybrids has always existed in the history of the wolf evolution since wolves and stray dog have always existed and shared part of territory.
- A hybrid can take 2 to 4 generation to become wolf again. This proofs the inutility of the eradication program.
- The removal of hybrids will not solve the genetic issue until errant dogs on the Italian territory will be sterilized, including stray, guard and hunting dogs, which are often left roaming for a long time.
- Italy is already poisoning 800 wolves per year, of an estimated population between 1500 and 2500 animals across the country. We fear this plan could incentive poaching.
- We want to point out that culling is never a selective activity and age, gender and status inside the pack hierarchy, can never be determined on sight.
- The Environmental Ministry has failed to protect this heritage species, denying scientific authorities the chance to share information and wasting funds assigned for the research.
- The culling of a big carnivore as the wolf, pure or hybrid, will affect the whole ecosystem.
- We fear the excessing breeding of the boars, which are also considered a nuisance in the farming industry and represent a social danger and a road safety problem.
- This will lead to more human/wildlife conflict and to more culling.
- The Environmental Ministry has previously authorize the culling of 280.000 boars between 2015 and 2016. This has brought, in the absence of their primary source of food, the wolf population, pure and hybrid, down to the farms, worsening the conflict human/predator.
- No measures have been taken to encourage farmers in using preventive humane methods to protect farm livestock. Italy is ignoring international standards and researches on the managing of human/predator conflict, involving vulnerable species.
- For the management of this conflict, the Ministry should invest the EU resources in more effective methods to prevent wolf predation on cattle. As international studies have proved, electric fences, sheep dogs, acoustic signals and flash lights are powerful and more economic strategies to adopt.
- The wolf is an icon in the European culture and for Italians is a heritage species from the time of ancient Rome. The wolf is the Mother of Rome as well as Romulus and Remus; the wolf is the icon linked to Saint Francis and symbol of peace.
A culling plan for wolves or hybrids, all of a sudden considered a ‘nuisance’ or ‘bastards’, will lead to the degradation of the Italian own image and brand.
- The success of this petition, started only at the beginning of February, is proof of the reaction the whole world had, when faced with a plan of destruction for this species, after 46 years of protection.
- This plan would then contradict the norms and regulations established by EU on the protection and conservation of vulnerable species.
- We want to draw the EU attention on every detail of this bill. We urge EU to intervene and discourage Mr. Galletti in his resolution which is not based on any scientific data. We ask the European Commission to discuss the issue, investigate and impose the Italian Ministry to invest in research before moving ahead with any invasive action of eradication or culling.
- We demand EU, in case this bill, despite the conditions, will pass, to sanction Italy for the irregular and inefficient way to manage a vulnerable and heritage species
- We demand Mr Galletti to remove articles regarding the permanent captivation, eradication, destruction of exemplars either pure than hybrid breed, from his Plan of Conservation and Management of the Italian Wolf (January 2017); III.7 -Exceptions and departure from the ban of removing wolves from habitat-.
- We ask the Regions’ Presidents to halt this project, until the above articles are removed.
- We ask the European Commission to take in consideration the content of our petition and demand Mr Galletti to respect rules and regulations as imposed by the EU, in particular, regarding the management of a vulnerable species in the absence of data and scientific support.
- We ask the European Commission to guarantee maximum protection to the Italian wolf.
- WE ASK THE EUROPEAN COMMISSION TO REVERSE THE EROGATION OF FUNDS TOWARDS ITALY AND IMPOSE SANCTIONS, FOR THE UNSCIENTIFIC MANAGEMENT OF A VALUABLE AND VULNERABLE SPECIES AND FOR THE WASTE OF COMMON FINANCIAL RESOURCES
- We declare Mr Galletti accountable for the loss of environmental heritage and degradation in natural habitat, the loss of customers in the Italian touristic and gastronomic sectors; the degradation of image and Brand Italia and the loss of workplace in these sectors.