Jean-Marc Garnier, from Queyras, Haute-Alpes, was sentenced to a € 2,500 fine (including a € 1,000 suspended sentence except for a similar recurrence) for causing unintentional injuries to hikers on July 16, 25 and 27 and August 11.
Two of his dogs were confiscated and the shepherd must also pay € 300 in damages for civil action.
The prosecution pleaded for a fine of € 1,150 and two months in prison, while Mr. Garnier’s lawyers pleaded for a lighter sentence.
Read more: Shepherd guard dogs attack hiker on French Alps road
Farmers and unions support the shepherd
General Secretary of the FDSEA 05 agricultural union, Sandrine Hauser said she was “very disappointed” with the decision.
“We expected a full acquittal. The farmer is not responsible for his dogs, ”she said.
Farm unions and farmers rallied to support Mr Garnier during the trial, arguing that dogs are needed in the area to protect sheep from wolves.
During a protest, a sheep carcass was left outside the courthouse as protesters carried signs asking, “When will the wolves be tried?” “
The president of the young farmers union 05, Edouard Pierre, told France 3: “What we want is for the state to take care of the dogs because we did not choose to have any and we do not. not use them on our own accord.
“We keep them because [our sheep] are the prey, and we want the state to take responsibility for its choices.
In the summer of 2021, 23 dog bites were reported in the Hautes-Alpes region.
Where do wolves live in France?
Wolf populations have been monitored by annual surveys in France since 1992.
While animals are rarely spotted in the flesh, researchers can observe signs that point to their presence in different territories.
A winter 2020-2021 study found that there are around 624 wolves in France, with sedentary populations present in 125 areas.
Of these, there were 106 packs, defined as three or more wolves together, including mothers with cubs.
The potential presence of wolves has been identified in Normandy, Occitania, the Alps and northeastern France.
However, in Normandy, indicators showed that wolves “might be present” rather than proving that they lived there, and in the northeast, only one wolf pack was confirmed, along with three cases of pairs or of individual wolves.
In Occitania, there have been nine cases of pairs or individual wolves, but no wolf pack has been identified.
By far the largest number of packs has been identified in south-eastern France along the Alps, with dozens of packs settled between the Mediterranean Sea and the Swiss border.
Historically, wolves lived in all parts of France, but by 1937 they were hunted to extinction.
Fifty years later, wolves have been protected by the European Union and their number in France has grown steadily since the early 1990s.
Bloody wolf corpse left hanged in front of town hall in south-eastern France
Petition condemns decision to shoot puma at large in northern France