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Wolf attacks: French farmers kidnap park boss

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Wolf attacks: French farmers kidnap park boss
Repeated wolf attacks on sheep have left French farmers frustrated. Photo: AFP
12:51 CEST+02:00
Around 50 angry French farmers have kidnapped the chief of a national park in the Alps, demanding he take action against repeated wolf attacks on their livestock.

Farmers in France have grown exasperated in recent years after seeing their sheep repeatedly slaughtered by the rising wolf population in certain parts of the country.

While the government has authorised for wolves to be killed in certain areas where attacks have taken place, farmers have grown frustrated that not enough is being done.

On Tuesday evening a group of around 50 farmers took the extreme step of kidnapping the president of the National Park of Vanoise in the French Alps along with the park's director.

They made the move to hold Guy Chaumereuil and Emmanuel Michau hostage against their will following a pubic meeting on the park's new charter.

The radical move of kidnapping has proved popular in France over the years, especially in Labour disputes between unions and bosses.

The farmers want urgent measures put in place to prevent the wolf attacks against their livestock.

According to farmers there have been 130 deadly attacks against livestock this summer compared to 105 last year.

A statement from the leading farmer's union FDSEA in the Savoy region said: “Farmers are demanding the authorisation to kill wolves in the heart of the park and to establish effective means to round-up five wolves by the end of the year.”

“The farmers have reached their limit, they can't take anymore. Every night they are in permanent stress,” said Jean Claude Croze, from the local branch of FDSEA.

The kidnapping, which did not involve any violence,  took place around 11pm and talks were still ongoing on Wednesday morning.

According to reports in the French press, the police have not suggested they will intervene. 

The map below shows where wolf attacks have taken place in recent years.

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