The naturalists take the Cantabrian Executive to the prosecutor for killing wolves

Image of an Iberian wolf in freedom. / CR

They denounce that the orders given to shoot down ten specimens are "illegal" and a "political pulse" against the ban on hunting this species issued nine months ago by the ministry

Alfonso Torres

After a week of silence from the Ministry of Ecological Transition, it has been the naturalists who have stepped forward. WWF has denounced the Cantabrian Executive to the Environment Prosecutor's Office for ordering the death of ten wolves in three different regions of that community despite the fact that killing this type of animal is prohibited throughout Spain since September 20, 2021, when it was declared protected species throughout the Iberian Peninsula.

The environmental organization focuses its complaint on the General Director of Biodiversity of the Cantabrian Government, Antonio Lucio, who is the administrative authority that signed the orders to kill these wild canids in the Cantabrian counties of Polaciones, Campoo de Suso and Cabuérniga, where the Executive The regional government indicates that the wolves would have carried out more than 200 attacks on herds in the last nine months, with 231 dead cattle. The orders for selective hunting, published in the Official Gazette of Cantabria, are given to regional agents in rural areas.

crime against wildlife

WWF not only calls on the Public Prosecutor's Office to investigate the non-compliance by the Government of Cantabria with current regulations - the ministerial order issued by the Ecological Transition that declared the wolf a protected species in September also north of the Duero - but also asks it to do for a crime against wildlife. In their complaint they expressly request the public prosecutor to collect all the precise information about the people who are going to take part directly or indirectly in the death of these wolves, so that they can be held accountable.

The organization maintains that these orders, in addition to an "illegal decision", are a "unilateral decision" adopted by the Government of Cantabria, without any authorization from the Ministry of Ecological Transition. The ministry led by Teresa Ribera has been silent for a week, profiled and without assessing what WWF has no doubt that it is a political challenge to see how far they are allowed to go, a challenge to which the other wolf autonomies, Castilla -La Mancha, Asturias and Galicia, all radically opposed to the prohibition of killing wolves, which have already advanced that they intend to continue and immediately replicate in their territories the path of selective hunting inaugurated by Cantabria.

The complaint from the naturalist NGO defends that the Cantabrian Executive intends to give an aspect of legality to its hunting resolutions, taking advantage of the exceptional situations provided for in the protection regulations itself, which indicates that these extreme actions are only possible if all the measures have been taken possible preventive measures without success or alternatives, if the damage to the cattle herd is significant and if the deaths do not put the conservation of the species at risk.

"The wolf, political hostage"

WWF considers that, in addition to the fact that these extreme situations should be authorized by the ministry, the Cantabrian political leaders would have given up implementing all possible preventive actions, since only four of the more than 100 livestock farms that were they pretend to protect with the death of the wolves. Nor do they believe that the resolutions that authorize selective hunting show that the damage to ranchers is significant or that the conservation status of the species in that territory is adequate to shoot down specimens, since they recall that the European Commission qualifies it as an "unfavorable" status. ».

In summary, Juan Carlos del Olmo, general secretary of WWF Spain, understands that "the wolf has become a political hostage" and that "the unilateral decision to kill wolves illegally is a challenge by the Government of Miguel Angel Revilla to the central government and to the whole society that massively supports the protection of the species».

Del Olmo calls on the Cantabrian administration to "stop killing wolves and adapt to the legality and criteria of the European Commission and once and for all start working seriously to take advantage of the 20 million euros approved by the ministry to implement effective measures that reduce damage and really favor ranchers and the conservation of extensive livestock.

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