French government presents plan to protect wolves

February 19, 2018

FILE - In this Oct.9 2017 file photo, a French sheep breeder demonstrates with his animals against the rising wolf attacks on sheep herds in Lyon, central France. The French government has presented Monday Feb.19, 2018 a plan to ensure wolves' survival in the country as farmers repeatedly protest against financial losses due to attacks on livestock. (AP Photo/Laurent Cipriani, File)

PARIS (AP) — The French government has presented a plan to ensure the survival of wolves in the country as farmers repeatedly protest about financial losses caysed bt attacks on livestock.

Environment minister Nicolas Hulot’s plan, presented Monday, aims to have 500 wolves in France by 2023, up from an estimated 360 now.

The plan allows about 10 percent of the wolf population to be killed every year, under the strict control of the authorities, to prevent attacks on herds of sheep.

The state will provide financial aid to help farmers protect their livestock, using herding dogs and electric fences.

Wolves almost became extinct in parts of Europe because of hunting in the 19th century, but have returned in recent decades to France, Italy and Slovenia due to greater protection.

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