Fri07282017

Monday, 17 July 2017 21:29

DNA Testing to Help Solve Sheep Killing Riddle

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The Department of the Environment at Luxembourg's Ministry of Sustainable Development and Infrastructure has confirmed that DNA testign is being used to confirm, or not, if wolves did kill a number of sheep in Kehlen recently.

Last Saturday, a farmer in Garnich found eight sheep - in one of his fields - which had been killed. The field is only a few kilometers from the village near Leudelingen, where a wolf-like animal had been photographed two weeks ago. The farmer therefore immediately informed the nature administration, which met for several hours on the Saturday evening with a number of experts.

They investigated the environment as well as the killed sheep in detail, and took DNA samples from around the bite wounds. The samples will be examined at the Senckenberg-Institut Gelnhausen (Germany); this process could take a few weeks.

The Department of the Environment has stated that, even if a wolf can not be excluded as a result of the investigations in the field, it must not be forgotten that even domestic dogs regularly attack sheep. A definitive conclusion can therefore be made in the case of Garnich only when the results of the DNA samples are available.

The action and management plan for dealing with wolves in Luxembourg, which has been drawn up, inter alia, with stakeholders from the agricultural sector, provides for a financial compensation for the affected farmers in the case of wolves.

For about 25 years the wolf has settled again in Europe. Because of his presence in the French border area for several years, as well as the spread of the German-Polish wolf population to the west, it was only a matter of time before wolves would make up home again in Luxembourg.

Wolves are shy animals and generally avoid direct contact with humans. Encounters between man and wolf are therefore extremely rare, but not impossible. As a rule, wolves retreat as soon as they notice a human being.

Photo by Gaston Origer

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