The Flemish Farmers Union is now in an uproar in Oudsbergen, across the border about 20 kilometers from Weert, a cow has been killed by a supposed wolf. The agricultural lobby organization fears the “wolfproof” lawns will become too expensive. According to the Institute for Nature and Forestry Research (INBO), this is not necessary at all, since wolves rarely attack cows.
It is the first time that a cow has fallen prey to a wolf in the area. In the province of Antwerp, a cow had been attacked before, but that was a vulnerable animal through a wolf trail. However, Boerenbond is now calling for a change of wolf protocol. The club finds support in the mayor of Oudsbergen, Christian Democrat Lode Ceyssens. He even talks about the “wolf problem” and thinks European regulation allows him to intervene.
Joachim Mergeay of the Nature and Forest Research Institute asserts that the attack in Oudsbergen is extremely exceptional and that cows are usually not on the wolf’s list. “Of course it is a pity for a farmer if a cow dies at the hands of a wolf,” he says. But 2000 cattle in Flanders also die every year because they eat shards of glass or a piece of a can. The number of cows that fall prey to humans is several times higher. The only Flemish cow killed by a wolf now stands in April of this year alone 61.478 Killing cattle by human hands.