Hebridean shellfish farmers explain difficulties they face with France
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The EU offers strict legal protection status in its Habitats Directive to wild wolves as a vulnerable and valuable species. But across the bloc are now lamenting the wolves have taken over their lands and have been increasingly attacking their livestock.
All forms of capture and killing of wolves are strictly prohibited in the EU.
But according to Norbert Lins, chair of the European Parliament’s agriculture committee, the issues raised by farmers across the EU have reached a point by which a reform of the bloc’s regulations is necessary.
He said: “We have now reached a stage where it’s going to be necessary to revise the Habitats Directive.”
Renew MEP Ulrike Müller also said that “agriculture is particularly affected by this and we see an increasing number of attacks on domesticated animals with great concern”.
Whilst MEP Herbert Dorfmann stressed it “should not be taboo to discuss the need for managing these populations”.
The EU Commission has so far rejected the proposals made in the European Parliament since 2018, but as the motion received a favourable response in Strasbourg on January 10, the Committee is set to vote on the amendments on February 28.
Dutch MEP Bert-Jan Ruissen, who supports the resolution, said: “We can’t afford to stand by and do nothing.”
It is not the first time the hated EU Habitats Directive has sparked outrage among farmers.
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In the Netherlands, farmers are still facing hard decisions in order to adhere to climate change policies dictated by the Directive.
Emissions of phosphates and nitrogen from packed herds mean the country is almost surpassing the margins permitted by the EU regulations.
Nexit Denktank campaigners pointed the finger at the EU in November.
They said: “The Habitats Directive of the EU and rulings of the EU Court make life impossible for Dutch farmers.
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“According to rumours, the Dutch government wants to expropriate Dutch farmers. They are blamed for the nitrogen problem.
“To my surprise, the Dutch farmers are demonstrating against the Dutch government in the Netherlands, when the source of this problem is really the EU.
“Our great farmers are better off demonstrating in Brussels or Luxembourg at the EU. The Brussels bureaucrats are causing this.
“The Netherlands is the second-largest agricultural exporter in the world. We do not depend on anyone for food and other countries depend on us to be fed.
“The EU seems to want to tear it all down so that we can no longer be an independent country.
“If our wonderful farmers are being chased away by EU policies, which of course are dutifully followed by our Europhile government, where are they going? They may go to countries where farmers are welcome.
“Will that stop the emission of nitrogen on the earth? No.
“If we do eventually leave the EU, our strong agriculture will give us leverage if the EU tries to bully us like they did to the British during the Brexit negotiations.
“The EU needs us more than we need them. We feed other EU countries.”
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