Livestock Protection Conference: 500+ participants

The first multilingual Alpine Livestock Protection conference took place online on the 26th of January. This conference was the official public Kick-off of the LIFEstockProtect project. In total, almost 500 participants joined the event and many more followed along on our Facebook page. A great success! Due to simultaneous translation of the German conference to Italian and English people all over Europe could join. Four livestock protection practitioners – farmers from Italy, Austria, and Germany – shared their experiences and expertise in livestock protection. The audience was very engaged with the content of the conference and asked many questions. To finish a great day, the LIFEstockProtect team also welcomed 55 journalists in an online Press Conference.

The Speakers: experienced farmers

The LIFEstockProtect project is unique because it is a project by, for and with agricultural organizations. The involved agricultural organizations, in the forefront BIOAUSTRIA Niederösterreich und Wien as coordinating beneficiary, take the initiative for livestock protection in the German-speaking Alpine region. Thus, the first of four livestock protection conferences also had a very practical focus. The presenters shared their experiences with livestock protection and gave valuable insights into why and how livestock protection is the way forward to live in coexistence with large carnivores.

René Gomringer from Bavaria, former director of the sheep farmers’ association, told the audience about the challenges of introducing livestock protection measures and how this led to his decision to found the Schafbüro. Currently, he is consulting farmers about livestock protection, amongst others. His experience is a valuable addition to the project. Afterwards, Fabio Boni shared his experience of working together with volunteers to protect livestock as part of the Pasturs project. It was interesting to hear his insights into the work of a shepherd in Italy, the challenges that come with it, and how beneficial volunteers can be.

Finally, the sheep farmer Walter Schmiedhofer from Styria in Austria and shepherd Thomas Schranz from Tyrol shared their perspectives on livestock protection. Walter just started to implement protection measures, whereas Thomas on the other hand has experience in different terrains, different measures and even worked with volunteers. Their different viewpoints but coherent opinion about the importance of effective protection measures complemented a successful conference.

Impressive numbers and positive feedback

In total, more than 500 people from all over Europe participated in the conference. The live-streaming of the conference on Facebook allowed to reach 5200 additional listeners. Of course, the majority of attendees came from Austria, Italy, and Germany. However, more than a third joined in from 26 other countries including the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Greece, the United States, and even Iceland!

In the background, the LIFEstockProtect team engaged with the audience via a Q&A, answering more than 200 questions in German, Italian, and English. The questions mainly focused on the practical aspect of livestock protection. The audience asked for advice, additional information on livestock protection trainings, and even offered to collaborate with the the project. This reassured us that the topic of livestock protection is more important than ever and that the stakeholders of the project, and even the general public, appreciate events like this greatly.

After the lunch break, the whole LIFEstockProtect team answered all pending questions in the Press Conference. 55 journalists and interested individuals were able ask project and region-specific questions. This naturally led to a lot of press coverage. You can find the best articles in our news section here.

Did you miss the conference? You can watch the recording on our Youtube channel and you can download the presentations of the speakers and the Q&A here:

LIFEstockProtect overview
Thomas Schranz
Walter Schmiedhofer
René Gomringer
Q&A Livestock Protection Conference

Eventually, the participants also expressed their positive feedback about the event and how it was set up. It confirmed that the efforts of offering simultaneous translation paid off and that it will not be the last online conference LIFEstockProtect will organise. In the following, we will share with you the feedback we have got:

Congratulations on the webinar and the translation. I hope to be able to watch the next one.” Gloca C. (Portugal)

„Vielen Dank für die Konferenz, war sehr informativ und sehr gut geführt.“ Marco S.  

„Meinen Glückwunsch zur gelungenen Konferenz. Es war gut zu sehen, dass es technisch möglich ist, eine Präsenzveranstaltung in gleichwertiger Umsetzung als Videokonferenz durchführen zu können.“ Michael G.

„Danke für die spannende Konferenz! Weiter so! Viel Erfolg!“ Mirjam S.

 „Ich bedanke mich für die Konferenz und die möglichkeit das alle Interessierten daran öffentlich teilnehmen durften. Auch wenn natürlich aufgrund der Komplexität des Herdenschutzes nicht alle Fragen beantwortet werden konnten war der Einblick sehr informativ. Auch die Moderation sowie die Dolmetscherfunktion war sehr gut. Würde mich auf weitere Aktivitäten dieser Art u.a. sehr freuen. Liebe Grüße aus Norddeutschland und einem Wolfsgebiet.” Anja F.

“Danke für die interessante Konferenz! Freue mich auf mehr Infos aus dem Projekt und bin gespannt auf eure Erfahrungen.” Marion E.

“Vielen Dank für den interesannten Vormittag! Kompliment an die Organisation! Ich freue mich auf die nächsten 5 Jahre. Grüße aus den Niederlanden.” Andrea E.

“Good luck with your work – we hope to include some good results in Carnivore Damage Prevention News.” Robin R.

“Vielen Dank an alle Organisatoren und Beitragendenden!” Carol G.

“Als heutiger Teilnehmer möchte ich an alle Vortragenden und an die Ausrichter ein großes Lob aussprechen! Danke!” Harald R.

“Das war sehr spannend und interessant, vielen Dank fürs Teilen.“ Jolanda T. 

Stay up to date with our Newsletter!

Filming livestock protection in Austria and Italy

At the beginning of September, the European Wilderness Society team was in the field with a German television crew in Tirol and central Italy to film a new Hannes Jaenicke documentary. The television crew, accompanied by two renowned actors, will make a documentary about the challenges regarding the return of wolves and the challenges of livestock protection. The documentary will air in spring 2021 on the German channel ZDF.

Livestock protection in the alpine mountains

The first stop was Tösens in Tirol, a region which recently confirmed presence of eight different wolves. Tirol is characterised by steep rugged alpine mountains, where intensive livestock farming is still practiced. Many farmers have one or more herds of animals, such as sheep, goats and cows. Thus, they spend most of their time up in the mountain pastures during the summer season. Due to the presence of wolves, it is important that farmers have effective protection measures to avoid depredation. Together with the television crew, we filmed how local farmers use different ways to protect their livestock.

Researching wolves in Italy

In central Italy, one of the densest populations of the Apennine wolf exists in Majella National Park. The park, with a surface of 750 square kilometers, is home to approximately 100 wolves in 10 different packs. The wolves have always been in the area, thus, locals are used to live alongside them. Together with the TV crew, the EWS team looked at how Majella, which is also one of the oldest members of the European Wilderness Network, is performing research on the wolf.

The wolves in Majella are excellent at hunting wildlife, mostly wild boar and deer. Only on rare occasions wolves predate a sheep or goat, usually because of insufficient protection. The researchers of the park management explained to us how they perform research to study the wildlife interaction with wolves, and many more interesting topics.

LIFEstockProtect at livestock protection conference in Salzburg

From January 21st to 23rd, the LIFEstockProtect team will be exhibiting at the livestock protection conference of the LIFE project Eurolargecarnivores and will be available for questions and answers.

The livestock protection conference takes place from 21.1 – 23.1.2020 in Heffterhof in Salzburg. During the three days of the event, a number of speakers will widely address livestock protection.

Participants can learn more about the following topics:

  • Practical examples of livestock protection
  • Influence of fences on wolves, grazing animals and wild animals
  • Financing by the EU and member states
  • Alternative livestock protection measures
  • Livestock protection dogs
  • Everyday professional life and training of shepherds
  • Grazing management

The full program of the conference:

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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)