Justice suspends the slaughter of 170 ibex in Haute-Savoie. on

After a vigorous mobilization of associations and civil society, the Administrative Court of Grenoble has just suspended the slaughter of ibex in the Massif du Bargy with immediate effect. Under the pretext of fighting brucellosis, a prefectural decree of March 2022 had initially authorized the extermination of 170 individuals of this protected species.

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The decision was made in the late afternoon of Tuesday, May 17: the prefectural decree authorizing the removal and slaughter of 170 ibex was suspended. A petition was filed to annul the government’s decision, and an inter-associative appeal was filed.

This episode once again illustrates the frequent use conflicts in the mountains between economic activities and the protection of wildlife: the appearance of a case of brucellosis (a bacterial disease that can spread to herds of cows) in a bovine animal last November woke up the concerns of breeders and producers of reblochon. The herd of 235 cows on the Saint-Laurent dairy farm had been slaughtered.

The slaughter of the ibex of the Massif du Bargy was supposed to stop the contamination: a questionable decision according to the defenders of nature. Scientists from the National Council for the Protection of Nature (CNPN), an advisory body to the Ministry of Ecological Transition, came out unanimously on January 27, 2022. The reason: The direct transmission of brucellosis from the ibex has not been proven and the prevalence of this disease in these ungulates is currently very low (estimated at 4% of individuals). Without pre-testing, the vast majority of healthy animals would have been killed, meaningless extermination of an internationally protected species.

After yesterday’s decision, the catching of ibex remains allowed. Sick animals are euthanized, the others are marked with a collar. Biosecurity measures will also be implemented by agents of the French Biodiversity Agency: strict segregation of pasture areas, removal of salt stones, reduction of stray dogs, etc.

Are the economic interests of the area incompatible with the protection of wildlife? In any case, this conflict will not be resolved by a massacre

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