A new anti-wolf march: “Here the wolves roam the gardens and streets during the day”
youA new march organized to raise awareness of the problem of wolves was organized Thursday in Oudsbergen, near Hasselt, in the province of Limburg. According to the organizers, the inhabitants of the region are afraid of wolves and no longer dare to leave their homes at night.
“Here, wolves roam the gardens and streets during the day,” said Bart Kelchtermans, one of the organizers of the march. According to him, it is not possible to live with wolves “and certainly not for our animals”, he added.
The municipal council of Oudsbergen has authorized the holding of this march for the second year in a row. The mayor, Mario Goossens (CD&V), says he understands the residents’ concerns. In order to secure this walk, security measures have been put in place. “Alcohol and torches will be prohibited and stewards and police” will supervise this march, which last year attracted around 3,000 participants.
This year, the participants were nearly a thousand, according to the organization. The hike was lined with photos showing animals being eaten by wolves. “There have already been 626 victims,” says Lotte Arkens, lawyer and local farmer. It ranges from sheep and ponies to donkeys, cows, and even a dog, she says. The local resident also denounces the financial cost of each attack, which is followed by DNA samples and analyses, work by the Flemish agency Nature and Forests (ANB), as well as compensation for the owner of the animal killed. In total, the costs amount to 85,000 euros per wolf, she calculated. “We are not against the wolf as a wild animal, as long as it lives in the right place, but not in our working, living and living areas.”
Mayor Goossens, whose party sits in the Flemish government, believes that regional minister Zuhal Demir (N-VA) is leaving the population on the sidelines. “Fear reigns not only among farmers, but also among animal keepers, young households, the elderly, in fact, all people who live here in wolf territory. Not only is the wolf population increasing, but sightings and attacks are increasing. Today, we see that the government is not doing enough. At ANB, for example, only one full-time equivalent works on this issue. »
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