🐐 75 ibex, a protected species, are slaughtered by the State in the Bargy massif (Haute Savoie)

Under pressure from breeders and local elected officials, the mayor of Haute-Savoie banned public access to the Massif de Bargy for two days to destroy 75 ibex, while the vast majority are healthy.

Like the wolf, the alpine ibex almost disappeared from France during the last century, victim of relentless hunting, before being internationally protected from the 1960s and benefiting from the creation of the great alpine national parks. , like that of Vanoise. Despite this status, derogations were obtained from the province in the Haut Savoyard Massif du Bargy to eliminate ibex at the request of local breeders and Reblochon producers with the aim of eradicating an outbreak of brucellosis, an infectious disease potentially transmissible to livestock and humans.

After the appearance of a new case in a cattle in November 2021, the municipality of Haute-Savoie signed a municipal decree on March 17, 2022 authorizing the indiscriminate slaughter of a maximum of 170 ibex, which, taking into account the prevalence of the disease estimated at 4%, came to kill more than half of the local population of about 300 individuals to eliminate some patients.

The hypothesis of direct contamination of cattle by ibex could never be confirmed with certainty, as other wild animals, such as chamois, deer and roe deer, were also shown to be carriers of the bacteria.

Following appeals from nature protection associations, including LPO and FNE, this project was suspended on 17 May 2022 by order of the administrative court of Grenoble.

Despite this court decision, the mayor of Haute-Savoie presented a new draft decree in July 2022 to authorize the slaughter of ibex that have not yet been caught and tested, i.e. 75 individuals, which remains unacceptable. Although the public consultation received 88% of unfavorable opinions, the mayor chose to ignore it to confirm the decree in its initial version without publishing it and has just ordered the closing of the Massif du Bargy to the public at the last moment. October to carry out the slaughter of the ibex without risking the intervention of opponents of the project. Public authorities do not take into account the consultations they carry out, nor the science.

In fact, the National Council for the Protection of Nature (CNPN) issued a new opinion against this project on June 16, 2022. Since spring 2022, 170 ibex have been captured and it was found that over 95% were non-carriers. of the disease. According to experts, the infection should disappear naturally, provided that various precautionary and biomonitoring measures are observed in the coming years. While the euthanasia of seropositive animals is acceptable, the indiscriminate slaughter of healthy individuals is useless. In addition, targeting females of childbearing age has the effect of disrupting the social hierarchy in herds and contributes to the contamination of more individuals. Wildlife cannot be treated in the same way as farm animals in the event of an epidemic, requiring mass slaughter in the name of the precautionary principle.

The first victims of the state-legal massacre of a protected species. A few minutes earlier, these ibex were still running in the Alps…
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Friday, October 21, 2022: Already 61 ibex have been killed

To save the remaining 14 ibex going forward, we appeal directly to the Minister of Ecological Transition, whose responsibility it is to ban any further shooting before the court’s verdict on the legality of this decree. Our eight associations* in fact entered with urgency in the administrative court of Grenoble, this Wednesday, October 20, a provisional suspension against the decree authorizing this indiscriminate slaughter. The hearing will be held on November 3.

Justice had already ruled in favor of the associations in May 2022 by suspending a previous decree by the prefecture that aimed to slaughter 170 goats indiscriminately.

This is a massacre, in the true sense of the term, because only 2 or 3 ibex out of the 61 slaughtered were potentially HIV-positive according to early analyses.

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