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The LIFEstockProtect team recently travelled to Brussels to attend a meeting organised jointly with the European Commission and the EU Platform on Coexistence between People and Large Carnivores. Interesting topics were discussed during the workshop, including the return of large carnivores and various options for protecting livestock. The Wolf Fencing team and employees of the Slovenian Forestry Commission were also present and spoke about the situation in their respective countries. The workshop examined examples of livestock protection in different geographical, climatic and agricultural contexts and discussed what lessons can be learnt from them.

Challenging topics

Following the return of large carnivores and wolves in particular, many livestock farmers are finding it difficult to continue their work. Implementing livestock protection is not easy and costs a lot of time and money. Yet agriculture, especially small-scale agriculture, is still of great importance and traditional significance in so many parts of the Alps. Grazing, for example, is also essential for biodiversity and landscape conservation. To do this, livestock farmers usually need additional shepherds to look after the herds, move on with them and thus also carry out guided grazing. Shepherds are considered central figures for the care of the herd, fence building and also for the management of the livestock guarding dogs. Their special role was emphasised during the workshop. Another focus of the workshop was the financing of livestock protection measures under the CAP and the opportunities that exist and should be utilised within the EU.

After an intensive and productive workshop, LIFEstockProtect will continue to work closely with the European Commission and other institutions in Brussels.

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