DThe suspicions in the Dolly case have been confirmed: the 30-year-old pony of EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen was killed by a wolf. As a genetic analysis has now revealed, the perpetrator wolf is GW 950m, a member of the notorious wolf pack from the Burgdorfer Holz north-east of the Lower Saxony state capital.
The male GW 950m had already killed some farm animals before Dolly, including sheep, cattle and horses. The pony Dolly was found dead in his paddock in the Burgdorfer village of Beinhorn at the beginning of September. Another pony, also in the paddock, was unharmed in the attack. “The whole family is terribly upset by the news,” said the CDU politician and long-time Federal Minister von der Leyen, according to a statement. Last week, the EU Commission President from Lower Saxony announced in a letter to members of the European Parliament that the current protection status of wolves would be checked.
The correct way to deal with the predators that have returned has been discussed in Germany for several years. Many farmers and hunters are in favor of regulating the population by shooting them down, while many conservationists want to counteract the wolf attacks on farm animals with better protective measures.
In Lower Saxony there is also a political struggle about the future course of action: During his term in office, the former Environment Minister Olaf Lies (SPD) advocated regulation of the wolf population, referring to the increasing numbers. However, Olaf Lies has now moved to the head of the Ministry of Economics and left the Ministry of the Environment to the harshest critic of his wolf strategy to date, Christian Meyer from the Greens.
Meyer’s ministry commented on Tuesday in the face of the Beinhorn tragedy about Dolly: It is important to have an “open, transparent and ultimately target-oriented dialogue on wolf management, herd protection and grazing animals”. They want to talk to “all interested associations”.