A meeting of the Alpine LIFEstockProtect Competence Center Network took place on Zoom in the afternoon of the 12th of November. Dozens of livestock owners from South Tyrol, Austria and Bavaria participated to exchange knowledge on their personal experiences with livestock protection.
Please also read: Wikiwolves: Volunteers Help With Livestock Protection
Diverse viewpoints and experiences shared
After a warm welcome by the LIFEstockProtect Team, the meeting opened with a presentation on the legal frameworks of the 1992 Habitats Directive in Europe. This is important baseline knowledge to understand why the livestock protection measures supported by LIFEstockProtect are more necessary than ever. A project update followed which unveiled the planned livestock protection courses, the certified scat dogs and the planned volunteer programme.
Next came the bulk of the discussion from the various livestock owners in the project areas. They shared information about their farms as well as their previous experiences with protection measures. Most had used measures such as fencing before, but some had little to no experience. It was interesting to learn about the different perspectives of landowners whose farms varied so widely in location and composition and an exchange of knowledge between farmers fostered motivation for implementation in the future.
At the end of the meeting, participants were given the chance to ask questions and express their wishes for LIFEstockProtect. Most were concerned with the costs of protection measures and expressed the need for more financial support from regional governments.
Events such as this are important for supporting and connecting livestock owners across regions to exchange knowledge about livestock protection issues. The high engagement of the farmers was particularly inspiring and made this meeting a success. The LIFEstockProtect Team would like to thank all the participants for attending and sharing their stories with everyone.