Financial compensation in the event of damage or loss
Financial compensation is paid for all damage to livestock for which a wolf has been found responsible or for which a wolf's responsibility cannot be excluded pursuant to section 40 subsection 6 of the Saxon Nature Conservation Act (SächsNatSchG) in the Free State of Saxony. This is valid for all livestock species.
Compensation is subject to the prerequisite that the damage is reported to the competent district administrator's office in a timely manner (within 24 hours), an examination of the killed animal is carried out and documented, the prescribed minimum protection requirements for sheep, goats and game kept in enclosures have been met or reasonable protection has been provided to the animals as is deemed necessary according to the respective species' keeping conditions.
The following criteria are considered minimum protection for sheep, goats and game kept in enclosures:
- - electric fencing (Euronet fencing or 5-tape fencing, at least 2,000 volt) at least 90 cm high,
- - permanently installed enclosures made of meshed wire, knotted wire or similar material, with a firm edge at the bottom (tension wire) at least 120 cm high that on account of their design prevent wolves from slipping through underneath the fencing
Protection preventing wolves from slipping through underneath the enclosure is not a minimum requirement but is recommended and is thus eligible for funding.
An additional barrier tape which has to be fixed 30 cm above the Euronet fencing can be demanded as a temporary minimum requirement in areas where wolves regularly jump over electric fences. The wolf management authority will officially announce such a requirement via the local channels. No barrier tape is required if livestock guardian dogs are kept with the herd.
The examination of the killed animal is free of charge for the animal's keeper. A potential claim for financial compensation according to section 40 subsection 6 of the Saxon Nature Conservation Act (SächsNatSchG) can be made after a trained expert from the district administrator’s office has examined the killed livestock.
The objective of the examination is to find out whether a wolf has killed the livestock. It may be difficult or even impossible to determine the cause of death if scavengers have gained access to the carcass. A prompt report is thus crucial. The expert for the examination of killed livestock inspects all evidence and traces on site both on the carcass and in its environment and documents his/her findings in photos. Furthermore, the expert records the circumstances under which the animals are kept and the herd protection measures which have been taken. The expert documents the result of the examination in a report and informs the animal keeper about the findings. The report also lists any further examinations that may become necessary. The case is finally assessed centrally after receipt of all documented facts. Thereafter, the expert for the examination of killed livestock draws up an expert opinion based on the report. This expert opinion is the basis on which the regional administrator's office takes their decision on compensation of the damage. Genetic examinations of saliva samples taken from the killed animal do not always deliver unambiguous results beyond any doubt so that they are only used in the final assessment to supplement the characteristics and findings determined during the examination if need be.
If a wolf has been determined as the potential perpetrator or a wolf's involvement in the incident cannot be excluded, the expert gives the animal keeper a form to apply for compensation of damage at the competent regional administrator's office. An expert at the State Office for the Environment, Agriculture and Geology (LfULG) determines the amount of damage on the basis of the current guidelines. These have been agreed with the livestock keeper associations. The average market value depending on the breed, sex, age, weight, performance group and other characteristics such as pregnancy is used as an assessment basis if the animal belonged to a hobby keeper or persons who keep animals as a side job. The disposal costs are also taken into consideration. The amount of damage including consequential damage and additional expenditure can be determined for the ongoing business year if the animal belonged to a commercial holding. The data from the latest available financial statement is then taken as a basis. The actual average results of the herd are taken in this case to account for the holdings performance level and its specific characteristics.
The procedure usually takes four to six weeks from placing the application until receiving the compensation payment.