News8 November 2018Brussels, BelgiumAgriculture and Rural Development
Amendments to the State aid Guidelines for the agriculture sector to better address damages caused by wolves and other protected animals
The Commission amends the European Union Guidelines for State aid in the agricultural sector in order to allow Member States to grant full compensation to farmers for damages caused by protected animals, such as wolves. The amendments also makes it possible to fully reimburse costs of investments made to prevent such damages, for example building electric fences or acquiring guard dogs.
Today's decision aims to increase support to farmers in areas where large carnivores are present.
The success of the EU's conservation policy depends partly on the effective management of conflicts associated with the conservation of the protected animals. Support to help resolving conflicts associated with the conservation of the protected animals can be granted from EU funds, notably under the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development, and from national funds (state aid).
The state aid rules applicable to compensation for damages caused by protected animals are laid down in the European Union Guidelines for State aid in the agricultural and forestry sectors and in rural areas 2014 to 2020. So far, only 80% of the investments could be reimbursed through state aid. Today's decision amends the guidelines to bring that rate to 100%. Member States will also be allowed to reimburse 100% of so-called indirect costs such as veterinary costs resulting from the treatment of wounded animals and labour costs related to the search for missing animals following an attack by a protected animal.