STA, 21 September 2019 - A total of 120 bears and a couple of wolves have been culled so far under the emergency law, the Slovenian Forest Service has told the STA. Hunting officials have also been granted a decree for emergency wolf culling in the Julian Alps.
Until the end of August, bears have caused damage in 210 cases, up from 96 in the same period last year. Related material damage is estimated at EUR 71,400, which is again an increase compared to last year's EUR 47,700.
Meanwhile, wolves were destructive in 240 cases (116 last year), with the damage being estimated at EUR 158,000 (EUR 71,600 in 2018).
On average, wolves slaughtered 3.6 heads of small cattle in a single attack, altogether slaughtering 756 of them so far this year. They have also attacked almost 40 heads of cattle, over 40 horses and four donkeys.
The emergency law, which came into effect at the end of June, gives hunting officials the right to cull 175 bears and 11 wolves. The culling of the latter stops if the numbers are reduced by five adult wolves.
Wolf culling comes with special requirements which the Environment Ministry relaxed in August having faced pressure by farmers and hunters. Thus the culling area was extended to cover the entire area of the pack's domain.
Culling can be carried out only in areas stipulated in the emergency law, whereas to cull in other places hunters need a special decree. But even that was made more flexible in August.
The emergency law will be in place until 30 April 2020 for bear culling and until 31 January 2020 for wolf culling, which will also take place during the whole of September 2020.
The Environment Ministry is preparing a new law, with its draft proposing culling of 175 bears and 7 wolves. The Forest Service said that the new law would not hinder the emergency law culling.
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