09/30/05 Wolves are not Numbers

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Response by Animal Friends to the decision to kill wolves

Recently, the Committee for monitoring the population of large predators reached an agreement that it is necessary to kill four wolves in Croatia. We wish to express our opposition to that agreement.

According to claims by the Committee the wolf population in Croatia is stable, whereas there are fewer and fewer lynxes. From that it is visible that it is a fine line between a stable population and the reduction of a population or the extinction of a species. A total number of about 200 wolves is too small to justify killing them.

Wolves attack livestock when they have no natural prey; and they do not have it because humans have killed off the hares, roedeer and averything else that wolves could hunt. In areas where there are no wolves, hunters use that situation as an excuse for the hunting of roedeer, red-deer and the like, because, supposedly "there are no predators to keep them under control." In both cases, man is to blame because he disrupted the ecosystem.

Man has no right to exterminate a single species nor to decide how many animals of a particular species are allowed to live. People, besides vegetarians, have no right to describe animals as bloodthirsty. If sheep were not raised for slaughter, then it would be understandable that somebody consider the wolf a bloodthirsty animal, but like this, in comparison to man, it is shameful to call the wolf bloodthirsty.

Croatia is the most desirable tourist destination precisely because of its preserved nature and animals. They can attract tourists of a higher quality. An increasing number of tourists and consumers boycots countries and companies respectively which are inconsiderate towards nature and animals.

If at present the wolf does not bring any benefits to tourism, then it is because humans have not done anything to make it bring any. It is interesting that the bear refuge in Croatia is a real tourist attraction. Maybe some want Croatian tourism to come down to illegal building, date shells "on the black market," the killing of bears and roedeer, and endless restaurants which do not offer anything besides grilled mince meat sticks and roasted lambs; but there are some of us that do not want that. Animal protection and rights activists pay tax so it is fair that the protection of wolves and other animals is funded from the national budget. After all, nobody asks vegetarians if they agree that their taxes go towards subsidies for the meat industry or trawlers which raze the sea bed. There is no need to expand livestock farming to new areas, since it is obvious that an increasing number of consumers do not want that.

We hope that these viewpoints will be taken into consideration and that other methods of avoiding attacks by wolves on livestock will be considered. Relocating of wolves, putting up fences, better protection of sheep and avoiding the leaving of waste in places where it can attract wolves are certainly more humane ways in which that can be achieved. Wolves are not just numbers but sentient beings. Killing members of the pack destroys its structure and causes suffering to the survivors.

Simon Validzic
Animal Friends



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