The canton of Valais announced that this shooting followed the approval given by the cantonal government this week. According to the revised ordinance to the federal law on hunting, the requirements for ordering a shooting were met.
This allows large carnivores to be completed if they have killed at least ten sheep or goats within four months. According to the canton, it was a single animal without a pack.
This is contradicted by the Wolf Switzerland (GWS) group, which sharply criticized the canton’s shooting license in a media release on Thursday. A pack is known to be resident in the affected area. In pack grazing areas, killing lone wolves is not permitted under federal law.
If there is damage by wolves in pack areas, which legally allows an intervention in the population, this must be done by regulating the pack by shooting young wolves, explains the GWS. This requires the approval of the federal government and only 50 percent of the young animals born in the current year may be killed. With its actions, the canton of Valais is disregarding this clear regulation of the federal hunting ordinance.
The Valais authorities also disregarded a judgment of their own cantonal court, complained the GWS. The cantonal court reprimanded the authorities in a case from 2018, when they had already unlawfully released a single wolf in a pack grazing area for shooting.
Unfortunately, nothing was left of the promise made by the authorities at the time to take the judgment into account in further practice, the GWS continues. The case shows why it would be wrong to give the cantons the power to regulate protected species.
Meanwhile, the canton is calling for greater regulation of the large carnivore. Despite this shooting, the damage caused by the wolf in the canton is still high. The State Council would therefore like the Federal Council to comply with its request for extraordinary regulation as quickly as possible, the communiqué continues.
The wolf that was killed is now being sent to the Institute for Animal Pathology at the University of Bern for diagnosis and identification. Most recently, the Valais wild guard killed two young wolves in the Val d’Herens in March. According to the canton, the two animals had stayed near a residential area.