Antipoaching news

From the Ligurian Alps to Austria searching for poisoned baits

8 November 2022

Over 140 interventions carried out since the beginning of 2022 by the new Anti-poison Dog Units of the LWA EU project, together with the units trained under the previous LIFE. A relentless activity between Liguria, Piedmont, Lombardy and Veneto, both for preventive purposes and following alerts, which from this year sees the involvement of all 6 new teams that have become fully operational at the end of an intensive training course.

The dog units, thus distributed throughout the territory, guarantee a wide range of action against the use of baits and poisoned baits, which not only pose a serious threat to the conservation of the wolf, but also pose a very high risk to numerous other wild species, as well as to companion animals such as dogs and cats.

In Piedmont alone, 74 interventions were carried out, of which 35 were preventive, 16 in Liguria of which 12 preventive, 47 interventions in Lombardy of which 40 preventive and 10 in Veneto of which 9 preventive. Investigations into bait and trap finds are often very lengthy and complex, requiring a wide range of expertise.

Important news also from Austria! The dog unit trained at the University of Vienna (Vetmeduni Vienna) has received certification by the Austrian organisation “Naturschutzhunde”  (nature conservation dogs) to search for animal carcasses that are often used by poachers. This is a two-stage certification: the first part aims to verify the reliable indication of the target odour, and the second assesses the performance during the search phase. In this second part, the unit had to inspect 3ha of land in one hour without either the dog or the handler being aware of the presence of carcasses or poisoned bait. It took half an hour of the available time to clear the area, with a 100% positive feedback on the work done by the unit.

The fight against poaching can always count on the concrete support of Fondazione Capellino, that since the beginning of the LWA EU project has been feeding the dogs in the units, donating high quality kibble Almo Nature Holistic.

In October a new ‘crunchy’ donation for the wonderful 4-legged members of the units, including Sole, Sax, Virgil and Myrtille!