The Lower Austria Provincial Government has authorised in April the culling of 40 otters to reply to the requests of the Lower Austrian Fish Farmers Association and the Lower Austrian River Angling Association. Eurogroup for Animals’ member Vier Pfoten Austria is fighting against this unacceptable plan in collaboration with WWF Austria and other organisations.
In a letter addressed to Dr. Stepahn Pernkopf, responsible for the management plan including the culling, Eurogroup for Animals underlines that the Eurasian Otter (Lutra lutra) is classified as “Near Threatened” by the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species and is listed in Annexes II and IV of the EU Habitats Directive. As the species is strictly protected and satisfactory non-lethal alternatives to solve the conflict with fish farmers exist, these should therefore be applied, according to the requirements of the EU Habitats Directive.
Eurogroup for Animals will continue to closely monitor the situation in Austria, and we will make every effort to warrant that the European Commission acts to ensure that Austria complies with the EU Habitats Directive.