On June 23, members from ESN – European Shepherd Network – from seven European countries and a local shepherd held a public meeting in the Ständehaus as part of the dOCUMENTA (13) conference program in Kassel, Germany.
The assembly gathered sheep herders and farmers who discussed the creation of European Shepherd Network, an organization to give this community a voice and make it visible. They also commented on current campaigns by shepherds and their relation to public opinion and to their animals.
The event included the screening of a documentary recounting the journey of German shepherds from Berlin and Brussels to Trier.
documenta is the world’s largest contemporary art exhibition, running in Kassel every 5 years.
Shepherds are vital – we need them!
Their work is invaluable.
Permanent grassland is rich in plant and animal species. It is the best way to manage and protect land.
– It is the most effective way to protect the soil from wind and water erosion.
- It filters out pollutants and delivers clean drinking water.
- It absorbs carbon dioxide better than any other land use.
- It offers a habitat for countless endangered plants and animals.
But species-rich permanent grassland does not come by itself.
It is the result of decades of work by experts – the shepherds.
Without their dedication and effort, this land would turn into forest or desert.
The work of shepherds is very special:
In our work and daily life, we all consume resources.
But through their work, shepherds safeguard resources. They improve habitats and the health of soil, water and air. They produce high-quality meat, milk, hides and wool. They create irreplaceable benefits for nature and the environment.
That is why shepherds are vital. That is why we need them!
Vereinigung Deutscher Landesschafzuchtverbände e. V. (VDL) is carrying against the individual animal identification – towards herd identification (batch identity) – shows the first results:
The Higher Administrative Court of Koblenz has basically declared the action admissible. This is a necessary prerequisite for a hearing before the European Court of Justice. There are other indications that we have a good chance to make it to Luxembourg.
This success before the German court has made Sergio Pavon Gonzalez, Policy Officer, DG SANCO to personally asked to be kept informed.
We must now solve the following problem:
When we come to the European Court, all 27 Member States and the Commission will be asked for their position regarding the complaint.
Some states will not respond.
Therefore, we ask for reports from as many organizations throughout Europe as possible highlighting all the problems with the system.