What is the difference between poaching and culling

Poaching in Germany

Ivory, tiger skin and rhino horn - at first glance, poaching primarily affects distant countries and exotic animal species. But since the return of wolves and lynxes to Germany at the latest, various cases have shown that the opposite is true. In this country, lynxes, wolves and birds of prey, but also otters and beavers, are particularly affected by illegal killings.

In Saxony alone have been proven within the past few years seven wolves killed illegally. And in the Bavarian Forest, lynx regularly disappear in a "Bermuda Triangle" beyond the national park borders. In 2015 were here three deliberately killed lynxes found. At least five animals were killed between 2010 and 2016, 14 animals are considered missing.

The actual extent of poaching is unknown

Even more cases are known in which Birds of prey and owls captured, injured or killed were. From 2004 to mid-2014, more than 680 cases were documented nationwide, affecting more than 1,000 birds. The situation is opaque as there is no central documentation of all cases and there is also a high number of unreported cases. Because: If the killed animals are not deliberately placed in publicly visible places, they will be found by chance. Strollers who walk far away from the paths come across the animals or illegal traps. Since there is no specific search, one can only speculate about the actual extent of poaching in Germany.

“Poaching” or “Illegal Killing”?

The term "Hunting poaching" refers to the encroachment on someone else's hunting law and therefore only refers to species that are subject to hunting legislation. For example, if someone shoots deer in a foreign hunting ground, this offense is known as game poaching.

In the "Illegal killing" strictly protected animal species that are not subject to hunting law are, according to the legal definition, not hunting poaching. However, the term poaching is often used synonymously for the illegal killing of protected wild animals.

From the perspective of the WWF, Germany has Persecution of wildlife protection crime a lot of catching up to do, as the perpetrators are not caught in most cases. To a consistent law enforcement ensure it needs next to that Education of the population especially appropriate Expertise in the police and the investigating authorities as well as structures and networks to enable a better flow of information.

In addition, the WWF calls for a extensive and complete documentation and publication of the falls. Poaching must be considered in political and social discourse serious criminal problem are recognized and must no longer have the status of a trivial offense.

Are used frequently Poison baits, traps and firearms. Different types of traps, some of which are provided with bait that is still alive, are mainly used in the pursuit of birds of prey. Although Hawk baskets, ladder traps and leghold traps are forbidden, these are repeatedly confiscated by the police.

Also baits prepared with poison are often used to kill birds of prey. Mostly serve Slaughterhouse waste or eggs as attractantswhich, for example, is mixed with the insecticide carbofuran, which is banned in the EU. The neurotoxin absorbed by the bait then leads to the death of the animal. The female lynx Tessa was also born in Bavaria in 2012 by a deer carcasses prepared with carbofuran killed. Another female lynx probably became strangled with a wire loop. In the case of the wolves that have been found in Germany so far, the Use of ammunition identified as the leading cause of death.

There are only a few successfully resolved cases of the illegal killing of strictly protected wild animals in Germany. Prosecuting these cases is often a niche existence for prosecutors and the police, as prosecuting other offenses has priority. However, an intensive criminological investigation is required for a successful investigation.

So must Notes at the crime scene secured as quickly as possible and that already when there is even the slightest suspicion of a criminal offense. When a lynx was supposedly run over in Bavaria at the end of 2015, it was only later revealed that the animal had previously been deliberately killed. Valuable clues may not have been seen immediately.

In the case of the wolf killed in Saxony-Anhalt in 2016, the location was only inspected afterwards by the police. Undoubtedly it is Evidence often difficult, since the place of the crime and the place of discovery sometimes do not match and only a few witnesses report.

But even if the prosecution is charged, that does not mean that the perpetrators will be punished accordingly. For example, the shooter who shot a wolf while hunting in Tucheim / Saxony-Anhalt in 2009 was determined, but the Burg District Court decided not to open main proceedings because it could not identify sufficient suspicion. The perpetrator apparently stated that he thought the wolf was a stray dog.

In Germany, the WWF is committed to ensuring that poaching in political and social discourse is recognized as a serious criminal problem and no longer the status of a petty offense Has. He wants to break up "silent cartels", expose professional structures of poachers and species smugglers and is committed to improving law enforcement.

In order to provide incentives for reporting clues, he regularly kills sea eagles, wolves and lynxes Rewards out. In numerous projects, the WWF is also trying to Acceptance of wolf and lynx through education and to improve the involvement of various interest groups.

The WWF's five-point plan against poaching in Germany

1. Federal states' anti-poaching offensive

The illegal killing of strictly protected wild animals in Germany must no longer have the status of a minor offense, acts must be consistently pursued and must not be seen as a secondary phenomenon in the everyday life of the investigative authorities. The interior ministers of the federal states need a clear signal so that poaching in Germany is finally perceived as a serious problem with the corresponding pressure to act. Appropriate budget budgets and staff capacities must be made available, at best the establishment of staff units or other suitable bodies in the state environment ministries or state criminal investigation offices to support the local authorities and ensure a capable network of experienced people, authorities, investigators and observers on site.

2. National Wildlife Agency

A federal national wildlife authority is to be set up. It is not only intended to protect and promote improved management of threatened wild animals, but also to support law enforcement authorities in investigating poaching. All species protection offenses are documented here and published centrally. Annual reports should be made available to the public and clarify about cases that have become known and their status of investigation. The aim is better and nationwide uniform monitoring as well as the development of uniform action plans for the procedure when a dead, strictly protected wild animal is found. The coordinated approach is intended to make it easier to uncover focal points of poaching and illegal trade.

3. Reduction of bureaucracy and clear structures

Unclear responsibilities must not stand in the way of a successful investigation. To do this, each federal state must review the legal framework. In addition, the procedure for finding dead, strictly protected wild animals of certain risk types is to be standardized nationwide. Instructions for action should contain standards for on-site data collection developed together with pathologists and criminologists, as well as clear regulations on which authorities and institutions (also at state and federal level) must be directly involved in the investigations. In addition, there must be, for example, a reform of hunting law that has long been demanded by the WWF, which also includes the review of the appropriation right of strictly protected species for hunters.

4. Training initiative for justice and police

The issue of species protection crime must be addressed more in the regular training of police officers. In addition, there is a need for targeted training and further education offers for public prosecutors, judges and investigators.

5. Round tables poaching

More work must be done on the causes of the illegal killing of particularly affected wild animals such as wolf, lynx and birds of prey. Round tables and information events should enable land users, animal keepers, nature conservationists and politicians to have a constructive dialogue. The hunting and livestock owners' associations should also work as partners even more strongly than before to promote acceptance within their structures. Opportunities for participation must be created for the population from rural regions, e. B. Greater involvement in the monitoring and management of large predators.


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