LIFEstockProtect, the largest and most ambitious livestock protection project in the German-speaking Alpine region, is off to a flying start. After its approval this summer, it officially started on the 1st of September 2020. Last week, the internal Kick-Off meeting of all beneficiaries signalled the next step in the process. As result of Covid restrictions, the meeting took place online. However, this could not overshadow the enthusiasm of all participants that the project was finally starting.
Work has started
Even though LIFEstockProtect has only just completed its first month of the five year project period, work has already started and the first obstacles have been cleared. Many partners are hiring or have already hired new staff to implement the project. The tendering process has begun and external expertise acquisition is ongoing, contributing to project implementation with material and expertise. Feedback from many participants has evidenced the media’s interest in livestock protection. Not only has a film crew already produced material about LIFEstockProtect for a German TV documentary, but outreach activities have taken place in many places.
It was great to finally officially kick-off LIFEstockProtect with all beneficiaries. Everyone is excited to start with the ‘real’ work and help farmers with livestock protection. At the same time, it was impressive to see the partners´ commitment and the work they have already done this summer.
Max Rossberg- Project Manager of LIFEstock Protect and Chairman of the European Wilderness Society
Some of those involved even spent their summer holiday preparing the project. Moreover, some visited the ‘Almen‘, typical summer pastures in the Alps, to get an idea of possible project locations and to visit affected the farmers. Futhermore, the European Wilderness Society took the immersive experience even further. During the Kick-Off meeting, two employees and three volunteers were in a rural area in Tyrol, Austria to support a local sheep farmer with the ‘Almabtrieb’, the traditional herding of sheep back down to the valley in the autumn. They went from the online conference room directly back to the mountains.
Participants attended the meeting from over 13 different locations all across the project area:
The Next Steps In LIFEstockProtect
In the following months, project partners will focus on setting up work structures for LIFEstockProtect and starting the preparatory actions. This includes collecting information about the current state of livestock protection in the German-speaking Alps and preparing the educational and livestock protection training courses, which will start next spring.
On September 1st, under the leadership of BIO AUSTRIA Niederösterreich / Vienna, the largest livestock protection project, co-financed by the EU, called “LIFEstockProtect” starts in Austria, Bavaria, South Tyrol.
LIFEstockProtect is financed with a budget of 5 million euros and is aimed at all livestock farmers for a period of 5 years, regardless of whether they are cattle, cows, pigs, poultry, sheep, horses or goat farmers. The project is carried out under the leadership of BIO AUSTRIA Niederösterreich / Vienna. During the project development, special attention was paid to the expertise of livestock protection experts from agriculture as well as the involvement of numerous agricultural organizations, environmental protection associations and public institutions.
Another important focus is the development of knowledge for the breeding and use of livestock protection dogs, as well as the touristic challenges regarding the implementation of livestock protection.
“With submission and approval, we ensure that all livestock owners, regardless of whether they are obliged to graze on grassland or not, can pursue their profession despite the predators’ return.”Otto Gasselich, lead partner and chairman of BIO AUSTRIA NÖ / W
Leadpartner und Obmann BIO AUSTRIA NÖ/Wien
The project will train more than 1000 livestock owners in all aspects of livestock protection. These trainings are aimed at all livestock owners, livestock protection advisors, veterinarians, shepherds, agricultural livestock protection advisors and official representatives.
“Professional education and training is indispensable for the successful implementation of livestock protection in the entire Alpine German-speaking region. That is why the 180 training courses are conducted by experienced agricultural livestock protection experts. ”
Max A E Rossberg
Projektmanager und Obmann European Wilderness Society
The kick-off event is planned for November 2020, taking into account the conditions imposed by COVID-19. Three more livestock protection conferences will be held in the following years. The first of a total of 180 training courses and workshops will be offered from spring 2021.
Wenn Sie Interesse an Herdenschutz haben und das Projekt unterstützen möchten, laden Sie bitte eine Unterstützungserklärung (vorzugsweise auf Englisch) herunter und schicken Sie diese ausgefällt an info(at)lifestockprotect.info.
Livestock protection is still a major challenge and requires the implementation of various measures depending on the case complexity. For the first time, agricultural organizations have come together and developed a joint project for the German-speaking Alpine region. We collaborated with scientists, nature conservationists, livestock protection experts and other actors from Austria, Bavaria and South Tyrol.
The main objective of the project is to demonstrate and implement livestock protection measures to enable the coexistence of humans, livestock and wild animals.
LIFEstockProtect plans at least 150 activities with at least 4 000 participants, including workshops, seminars, and trainings. They have the following objectives:
More regions where livestock protection is effectively implemented
Establishment of at least 20 livestock protection competence centres
Establishment of at least 9 pilot regions to test various livestock protection measures
Better knowledge of farmers on the subject of livestock protection through
Training of at least 1000 farmers
Education of at least 100 livestock protection advisors
Increased public acceptance of livestock protection measures through
Mediation of at last 100 volunteers to help shepherds
Training of 100 livestock protection ambassadors
Visit of at least 140 schools
3 public conferences
Less conflicts between people, grazing animals and wild animals in the project target region in the Alps