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Clearly, compensation payments for depredated livestock are an important tool to support farmers. Unfortunately, such payments usually take a long time. High bureaucratic efforts and long waiting times diminish their effectiveness as a tool to help farmers in challenging situations. Now, a new system, tested and installed recently in Majella National Park in Italy, shows that it does not have to be this way: They can provide compensation payments to farmers in 24 hours! Here is how it works:
A farmer reports the loss of a sheep, allegedly predated by a wolf. The Veterinarian of the Park gets an alert and carries out the necropsy inspection, in this case confirming wolf depredation. The following morning the farmer accepts the compensation proposal. Then, the Veterinary Office of the Park finalizes the administrative process of the direct payment to the farmer the same day. Eventually, depending on the availability of a vet and the complexity of the case, this process extend a little bit. However, the main point is that the system is set up to avoid unnecessary bureaucracy and, thus, compensates the farmer as soon as possible.
Please also read: CAP and RDP funding opportunities for livestock protection
Knowledge exchange between farmers
This is an important step towards better support of farmers with the challenges they face concerning the presence of wolves in Majella National Park. Overall, livestock protection in the region is very successful. Wolves have always been in the area and, thus, farmers are used to live and work alongside them. An important part of achieving similar livestock protection results in the German-speaking region of the Alps is information and knowledge exchange with experienced livestock farmers. The LIFEstockProtect project encourages this exchange between farmers of different regions. The LIFEstockProtect team visited Majella National Park already several times to exchange knowledge and skills with locals. During the latest visit, Austrian farmers even joined the project team. They visited several Italian farmers who shared their experiences with them. Curious? You can read about the visit in this article.