Environment

The varied causes for killing wolves


The journal Atmosphere and Historical past simply posted an article by Kristiaan Dillen, “The Numerous Causes for Killing Wolves within the Fifteenth-Century Liberty of Bruges”. The summary:

Within the fifteenth-century Liberty of Bruges, a rural castellany within the county of Flanders, a bounty system was established to advertise the elimination of wolves. Prize cash made the wolf not solely an undesirable but additionally an actively tracked animal, a mixture that resulted in its wholescale slaughter. Researchers who’ve beforehand examined these bounties believed that they had been primarily a part of a system of pest management. They didn’t realise, nevertheless, that the inhabitants who got here ahead to say the bounty killed wolves to not clear the Liberty of Bruges of vermin however for completely totally different causes, which relied on the context during which encounters with wolves occurred. On this textual content, I take advantage of the data regarding the bounty system established by the Liberty of Bruges to grasp the complicated relationships between people and wolves on this fifteenth-century castellany. I first introduce the lengthy collection of data; thereafter, I try to determine causes for killing wolves within the Liberty of Bruges and the contexts during which such killings occurred.

And from the conclusion:

Was the institution of the bounty system certainly an indication that the wolf was not wished? Judging from the lengthy collection of knowledge from the accounts of the Liberty of Bruges, we will conclude that killing a wolf typically additionally meant the alternative, as doing so signalled noble standing and supplied extra earnings. Thus, it’s not completely appropriate to treat the slaughter of wolves merely as a type of pest management or, as it’s referred to right now, a kind of ‘administration hunt’. Wolves had been undesirable however ostensibly revered. In distinction to the attitudes in direction of different animals, reminiscent of crows or pigs, which had been stored out of fields or cities by the use of a system of fines, not bounties, individuals’s behaviour in direction of wolves was not regulated and corrected.

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