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Wolf tail gift ‘bad taste’ says French welfare group

A wolf and predator welfare association has denounced a wolf tail that was given by the president of a French council as a leaving gift, as being “in very bad taste”.

The Férus association - which defends the welfare of large predators including wolves, bears and lynx - condemned the present.

It was given by Jean-Marie Bernard, president of the departmental council of the Hautes-Alpes (Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur), to outgoing prefect Cécile Bigot-Dekeyzer, as a leaving gift.

Wolves have been a protected species in France since 1993.

Férus has said it will be sending a letter to the public prosecutor to find out where the tail came from, and to lodge an official complaint.

In a press release, it said: “We cannot be anything other than appalled to see this practice from another age in a developed, 21st-century country.”

The association’s president added a reminder of the environmental code, which states: “The detention, mutilation [or] transport of a protected species, whether living or dead, is illegal.”

But council president Mr Bernard said the gift was a “friendly gesture”, and a way of saying “you may be leaving, but the problem of wolves for farmers in the department has still not been resolved”.

Mr Bernard also gave the same gift to the previous prefect when they left, and said he believes wolves are not an endangered species, and do not need to be protected.

Wolves (as well as bears and lynx) are controversial in some parts of France, as some farmers say they are a dangerous threat to livestock.

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