Bear reintroduced in France kills eight sheep in Spain

Farmers in France and Spain are concerned with efforts to repopulate the bear population in the Pyrenees
Farmers in France and Spain are concerned with efforts to repopulate the bear population in the Pyrenees

Governments have held emergency talks on how to respond after a brown bear introduced in France killed eight sheep in Spain, alarming farmers.

France released two Slovenian brown bears in the Pyrenees in October 2018 in an attempt to reintroduce the animals to the area.

But one of the bears, Claverina, managed to make its way over into Spain, consequently killing eight sheep in the northern region of Navarre.

Local farmers in the region, furious with both governments, have now had to install tracking devices on sheep and guard dogs could soon be deployed.



It comes as Slovenia helps France reintroduce the bears to the Pyrenees where numbers are low due to hunting.

But farmers are not happy. “We are not going to allow farmers and livestock to face danger from wild species introduced in the area without taking our views into account,” the Navarre Union of Farmers and Livestock Rearers said in a statement.



Following emergency talks on Friday 16 May, dubbed the 'summit of the bear', officials in France and Spain have now agreed to 'speed up the exchange of information on following up the bears' and their activities.

Both governments also announced an increase in preventive measures to help farmers protect sheep.

Meanwhile, in the UK, the government recently refused Lynx UK Trust's application to reintroduce Euasian Lynx in Northumberland because it did not meet the “necessary standards”.

Lynx UK Trust wanted to reintroduce six Lynx into Kielder Forest. However, farmers frequently criticised the proposals, saying how after more than 1,000 years of extinction, the UK's natural life would not be prepared for the lynx.