Killing wolves in Europe. A crime against the environment.

Lee Heidhues 11.17.2022

The European Union pays a lot of attention to how its wildlife is protected and preserved. A recent nation joining the trend to protect wolves is Slovakia where wolves now enjoy year round protection.

It is now a crime against the environment to kill wolves in Slovakia.

It is now illegal to hunt wolves in the central European nation.

In my home town of San Francisco we live near the Federal Golden Gate National Recreation Area where I frequently see Coyotes.

Coyote on the Coastal Trail in San Francisco – August 2022

Gray wolves and coyotes are very closely related. The numerous similarities include their diets, hunting styles and high intelligence. Excerpted from

Excerpted from Deutsche Welle 11.17.2022

There have been wolves in Central and Eastern Europe for many centuries, and most farmers in these countries are familiar with ways of protecting their property and livestock against wolf attacks.

Farmers and wolves have been foes since time immemorial, so it may come as a surprise to many that a symbiosis between farmers and wolves is possible.

Wolves and humans can get along just fine.

“They help reduce damage to agricultural crops through predation pressure on ruminants,” Kristina Bockova, spokesperson for the State Nature Conservancy of the Slovak Republic, told DW. “They mainly hunt sick and weak animals, as well as wild animals infected by the currently widespread African plague,” Bockova said.

Bockova said wolves were not only under threat from frequent poaching, but also from the fragmentation of the landscape and the loss of quiet zones with minimal human activity — both of which are crucial for the preservation of the wolf population.

Legislation protecting wolves in Slovakia was passed in 2021. But now some are calling for a change in the law because of an alleged rise in wolf attacks.

Juraj Lukac is a Slovak activist who has been fighting for the conservation of wolves for almost 50 years. His group, the WOLF Forest Protection Movement, began work in 1973, bringing together people from the eastern and northern regions of Slovakia who wanted to protect the country’s forests and the rights of the animals living in them.

Two wolves enjoy a walk in the forest.

It was a long struggle, but the group finally saw its life’s work bear fruit when a new law providing year-round protection for wolves in the Slovak Republic was passed in June 2021. The law has made it illegal to hunt wolves and has put an end to the regulation of the wolf population in Slovakia.

Before the law was passed, killing a wolf in Slovakia outside the provisions of the regulation was considered a crime of poaching. Now, it is considered a crime against the environment.

A little over a year after the law was passed, some farmers in Slovakia have voiced concern about alleged increases in wolf attacks on livestock.

For lifelong animal rights activists such as Lukac, this was very painful to hear. He believes that the statement has little to do with the conservation of wolves: “It was just a political move,” Lukac told DW.

“I think that the longer full protection lasts, the more people will see that wolves don’t cause any damage and nothing bad is happening. But hunters just don’t want that,” he said.

Lukac rejects the claims, saying there is no evidence of an increase in wolf attacks.

Young wolves at play.