Wolves will be given the highest degree of protection in Flanders, which means that killing one deliberately can be punished by fines up to €500,000.
The preliminary draft decree, based on the proposal by Flemish Minister for Environment Zuhal Demir, was approved in principle by the Flemish government, reports De Morgen.
The intentional killing of a wolf can also be punished with a prison sentence of up to five years. Initially, the maximum fine was €250,000, which rises to €500,000 because of the highest protection level, to which additional surcharges can still be added.
This means the wolf is now given the same protection as, among others, the European beaver and the otter.
Last month, Demir already announced that she wanted to increase the protection of wolves. In cooperation with the Defence Department, a larger hunting-free rest zone will be created by suspending all hunting activities in the wolf’s habitat during the mating season.
The area concerns Camp Beverlo, shooting range Meeuwen-Helchteren and Pijnven (Bosland), in the Limburg province. The hunting association Hubertus Vereniging Vlaanderen said that such a ban was “completely exaggerated and totally inappropriate,” according to Het Laatste Nieuws.