The Valais is a canton in the southwest of Switzerland.
In terms of area, the Valais is the third largest canton in Switzerland and lies entirely within the Alps.
There are practically no lynxes in the south of Valais. Although the living conditions are ideal, last year not a single animal fell into one of the more than 130 photo traps set up by the Kora Foundation.
The suspicion: poachers kill the protected animals as soon as they enter the mountain canton. Five years ago, researchers at the University of Bern discovered a total of 17 snare traps that had been set up on the border with Vaud.
Three Valais rangers are accused of illegally hunting lynxes and wolves.
This puts the cantonal authorities in a dubious light shortly before the vote on the new hunting law in Switzerland.
Even then, the researchers were wondering whether the Valais authorities are adequately combating poaching – or whether the canton is even holding its protective hand over the poachers.
This now seems to be confirmed: BLICK Magazin has spoken to several witnesses who report exactly that.
According to their report, the problem is far more serious.
They claim: several game rangers – state employees – have illegally hunted lynxes and wolves themselves!
A total of five people were willing to give BLICK Magazin information personally. They accuse an active and two former Wallis rangers of poaching.
In particular, game warden Pierre D. *, who is still on duty, is not a blank slate.
Several criminal proceedings are currently ongoing against the Valaisan. He is accused of having two eagles imprisoned at his home and illegally shooting a deer in a no-hunting area while on a trophy hunt.
“A good lynx is a dead lynx” – this motto is said to have prevailed for a long time in the cantonal office for hunting, fishing and wild animals.
Now the air is getting even thinner for Pierre D.
BLICK has a photo in which he is holding a dead lynx in his hands – and grinning broadly into the camera. The authorities assume that the lynx got caught in a fence in an attack on sheep and was killed in the process. The gamekeeper does not seem to be saddened by the animal’s death.
The accusation of poaching against D. weighs heavily: For example, a hunter who, for fear of revenge on the part of the authorities, does not want to be named by name, says D. asked him several times directly to shoot lynxes. “He said it was our job to destroy the predators in Valais.”
In addition, the gamekeeper organized a real wolf hunt ten years ago: “When he found out that a wolf was roaming the Alps, he immediately alerted us and instructed us to shoot the animal,” says the hunter.
Later, D. appeared armed on the alp himself. “I was completely stunned”
Game rangers are usually responsible for protecting wild animals. They count the stocks and shoot sick and injured animals. Also protected, but only after an official decision of the canton in accordance with the Hunting Act Ordinance.
If one believes the testimony of the witnesses, there is a conspiratorial group among the 25 professional gamekeepers and 118 non-governmental aid gamekeepers as well as the 3,000 hunters: They tolerate the poaching of large predators and even encourage it.
The former ranger Martin R. * told two nature photographers on a photo excursion that ” in Valais, we don’t want lynxes – we shoot them”
Also, a witness who works as a farmer in Valais says that the former ranger Bernard M. * shot a lynx as a ranger – and told everyone who wanted to hear it. ” Now he continues to hunt as a private person, “with the dream of shooting many more large carnivores”.
Such statements confirm the warnings of the opponents of the new hunting law.
They fear that if the answer is yes on September 27, large carnivores in Valais could simply be completely exterminated.
Because the new law gives the cantons more power – and allows wolves to be killed before the animals have caused damage.
The statement made by an employee of the cantonal office for hunting, fishing, and wildlife underline that the three rangers are not curious individual cases. The man confesses anonymously that he has already shot a lynx and that for a long time the maxim applied at the police station: “A good lynx is a dead lynx.”
BLICK Magazin has confronted both the three rangers and the authorities with the allegations. None of the gamekeepers want to comment.
Instead, the Valais head of the cantonal department for hunting, fishing, and wildlife, Peter Scheibler, replied in a joint message: “The department is not aware of any such incidents.” (!!!)
The hunting agency has already reacted to the anonymous testimony.
The hunting bosses wrote: “On August 24th, based on a specific accusation of lynx poaching in a media report, we filed a criminal complaint against unknown persons.”
*Name changed by the editorial team
And I mean…Switzerland also has to learn: it is not enough to have one of the best animal protection laws in the world.
You have to control its executors.
Now the hunting mafia accused the eyewitnesses !!!
We live in a world where it is considered a greater crime to reveal crimes against animals than to commit them.
Which explains, why hunters mostly go unpunished in their long, criminal lives, and the animal rights activists or simple animal lovers get a criminal complaint as soon as they get in hunter`s way.
If this is confirmed, the authority must be dissolved, the hunting licenses including weapons withdrawn, and the whole thing rebuilt.
It’s like the customs authorities are building a drug ring themselves.
It is best to use gamekeepers only outside the canton for a few years or to refrain from hunting completely because the large carnivores would not attack any herds if humans did not hunt their food and it was in abundance …
If we abolish the hobby hunt, we would have no problems with wolf and lynx in Switzerland and all over the world.
Therefore on September 27th: Switzerland says NO to the new shooting law!
My best regards to all, Venus