Preventive measures

Many safe and legal measures and tools can be implemented as alternatives to the use of poisoned baits, or to prevent people from using them. Some of them are presented below.

Preventive tools to reduce human and wildlife conflict

σκύλος ανίχνευσης detection dog
Μολοσσός Ηπείρου © Δημήτρης Βαβύλης / Ελληνική ΟΡΝΙΘΟΛΟΓΙΚΗ Εταιρεία

Livestock guard dogs (LGD)

it is the most commonly used measure to prevent attacks from wolves, bears and other large predators on livestock animals and has been traditionally used for hundreds of years in all over the world. When kept in good living and health conditions and are properly trained, LGDs are the most effective tool against predator attacks.

In Greece, local breeds of LGD such as Molossus of Epirus and Greek Shepherd Dog, are usually better adapted to the local landscape and conditions and should be preferred over other maybe larger or more aggressive breeds.

κυψέλες με ηλεκτρική περίφραξη hives with electric fencing
© Δημήτρης Βαβύλης / Ελληνική ΟΡΝΙΘΟΛΟΓΙΚΗ Εταιρεία

Electric fences

This type of fences are highly efficient especially when used around livestock night pens, as they prevent wolves from night attacks. They can also be used to protect small flocks while grazing or lambing. In addition, they can also be very effective to protect crop fields that suffer damages from bears or wild boars.
It is also very important for the electric fences to be maintained regularly and also remove any conductive elements (eg woody vegetation) that may come into contact with the wire and as a result reducing or even nullifying their performance.

φώτα εκφοβισμού με ζώα scare lights with animals
© Δημήτρης Βαβύλης / Ελληνική ΟΡΝΙΘΟΛΟΓΙΚΗ Εταιρεία


It has always been common for livestock breeders and farmers to improvise different gadgets involving lights in order to scare away predators at night. New generation foxlights come as a patented device especially designed to be used as night deterrents for animals. Very easy to install around the night pens, they shine coloured lights randomly at different time, rhythms and angles in order to give the impression of human presence and as a result efficiently scaring away any predators.

περιφραγμένο κοπάδι ζώων fenced herd of animals
© Χαρητάκης Παπαϊωάννου / Ελληνική ΟΡΝΙΘΟΛΟΓΙΚΗ Εταιρεία

Fladry fences

Fladry fences consist of red or orange flags hanging from a rope and can be used around night pens or grazing areas. This system, widely used in US, Canada or Poland, has been proven to effectively scare away wolves for a period of approximately two months, after which they get used to their presence. Therefore, these fences are better suited for temporary pens and livestock breeders practicing pastoralism.

άνθρωπος και σκύλος man and dog
© Lila Karta / NECCA

Preventive measures to deter people from using poison

Anti-Poison detection dogs

It is widely known that dogs have an incredible sense of smell, and everybody is used to seeing police dogs that can detect drugs or explosives or rescue dogs that can find people lost in the mountain or under debris. In the last two decades, it is becoming more and more common to find detection dogs specially trained to search for poisoned baits.

The first two anti-poison dog units were created in Greece almost one decade ago by the Hellenic ORNITHOLOGICAL Society and WWF Greece. The last two years, seven (7) more anti-poison dog units have been created by NECCA and operate nowadays in continental Greece.

These dogs increase the efficiency of law enforcement bodies working in the field by finding poisoned baits and animals, as well as pieces of evidence that can help finding the perpetrator.

Implementation of the actions of the Local Action Plans against poison baits

Frequent patrolling of hotspots in the countryside, where poisoned baits are a common problem, by law enforcement bodies such as the Forest Service or NECCA may help to deter people from using baits in the fear of get arrested.