Germany orders shoot-to-kill hybrid wolfdog pups to protect local wolf populations

Authorities in the southeastern German state of Bavaria have ordered the pups of a wolf that had mated with a domestic dog to be located and killed. Local wolf populations were protected by the shoot-to-kill directive on pups of wolf-dog hybrids.

In the northwest corner of Bavaria, in the Lower Franconia region, the authorities registered the wolfdog hybrids. German law stipulates that in order to protect the local wolf population, these hybrid animals must be shot.

In the 19th century, wolves were hunted to extinction in Germany; however, they recovered in 2000 and their numbers have been steadily increasing ever since.

Wolf-Dog Hybrids

Animals known as wolf-dog hybrids are made up of a mix of domestic dogs and wolves. Since domesticated dogs are genetically related to wolves and can therefore interbreed, this is possible.

Many people in the US keep wolfdog hybrids as pets. By one estimate, there are more than 300,000 of these hybrid animals in the country, according to data from the University of California Davis Veterinary Genetics Laboratory.

These hybrids, however, are not a recognized breed and are banned in many US states and jurisdictions. They are viewed as feral animals by some animal welfare organizations, such as the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, who are against breeding and owning them.

Wolf Dog Pets

According to the wolf sanctuary, wolfdog mating does not commonly occur in the wild. For a variety of reasons, including the desire to tame a wild animal and the illusion that they are producing a superior “watchdog,” people deliberately breed wolfdogs. Even choosing to have the “wolf gaze” is a superficial example. It is widely believed that mating domestic dogs with wolves will produce pups with the perfect mix of domesticated and wild characteristics. However, attempts to “reinvent the dog” rarely result in the breed that most people consider ideal.

The International Wolf Center says hybrid owners often find their pet difficult to care for because of their behavior. Even within a single litter of hybrid puppies, genetic diversity causes a wide range of appearances and behavior patterns, making hybrid behavior unpredictable and more difficult to predict.

Also read: 7 hybrid animals born from climate change and their adaptive traits

shoot to kill

After examining the remains of three dead sheep, Bavarian authorities discovered genetic evidence of a wolf and its pup in the Rhön-Grabfeld area of ​​Lower Franconia.

According to genetic analysis, the mating act of the mother wolf with a domestic dog in the spring of this year produced the pups, which are wolf dogs, the Bavarian State Office for the Environment (LfU) said.

Hybrids must be shot, according to the German Federal Nature Conservation Act. According to an LfU spokesperson, breeding wolves and dogs produces genetic changes that can degrade the gene pool of wild animals.

wolf vs dog

Unlike domestic dogs, wolves are fully capable of living in the wild. According to officials, the long-term survival and existence of wolves in the wild can only be ensured if the animal maintains its environmental adaptations, which interbreeding can jeopardize.

The LfU stated that it would take no action to dispose of the mongrel puppies. Although removal may involve trapping or shooting the animals, authorities will choose “lethal removal” or shooting hybrids that are older than three months, as is the case in the current situation.

Officials noted that wild-born animals, such as hybrid pups, are unlikely to be able to adapt to permanent confinement in an enclosure and would only suffer in captivity. news week reports.

Related article: Brown bear and polar bear mating gives way to climate-resilient ‘Brolar’ bear

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