The European Shepherds Network is an important step since 2003, following the Pastomed project, the World Gathering Pastoralists of Segovia 2007, the European Meeting of Sentein (Ariège, France) and mobilizations since 2010 dealing with EID, mandatory vaccination, transhumance, and other specific issues, showing the need of a special framework acknowledging the specific reality of mobile pastoralism in Europe.
We, the different professional shepherds associations of the country members , would like to continue demanding a specific legislation for extensive livestock farming within the EU agrarian policy framework.
Shepherds carry out many functions in territorial development. They play a direct economic role by maintaining jobs and services in difficult areas and supplying consumers with quality agricultural products. Livestocks play a role in the management of natural areas stretching from coasts to highmountain transhumance areas, and the surface areas involved account for hundreds of thousands of hectares in each of the regions involved. After the impact of the Structural Funds on territories in southern Europe, it is now important to monitor trends, to share experiences and to ensure that they are recognised by all those involved in both farming and non-farming activities in order to improve the efficiency of community, national and/or regional policies.
ESN’s mission is to promote knowledge and recognition of the role of pastoralism in the sustainable development of european territories. The operation covers disadvantaged or mountainous areas that are underpopulated and suffer from major economic handicaps. ESN brings together different types of territorial partners so that they can establish technical and economic strategies and propose improvements for policies and public action.
ESN is currently devoting its activity through different campaigns covering the main problems and aspects of pastoralism in Europe:
1. Specific legislation for extensive pastoralism under EU Common Agricultural Police (CAP)
2. Opposing Electronic Identification System for sheep and goats and legal bureaucracy
3. Consultative approach to predator species
4. Shepherds schools and regeneration