Wolf given death sentence after killing Ursula von der Leyen’s pony

President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen (PA Wire)
President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen (PA Wire)

Hunters have been given permission to shoot a wolf that killed Ursula von der Leyen’s beloved pet pony after a permit to kill the animal was issued.

The European Commission president, a keen equestrian and mother of seven, said her whole family was “horribly distressed” after the predator killed Dolly at her home in Lower Saxony in September 2022.

The wolf, known only as GW950m, remains at large and leads a “problem pack” in the forests of Hanover’s Burgdorf and the Beinhorner Waldchen areas.

A permit to kill the animal comes into force next week and lasts until February 2024. It allows hunters to use night vision devices and sights to shoot if the wolf pack reappears within a 150 metre radius of a previous attack.

GW950m is believed to be involved in the killing of another five horses, 47 sheep, four cattle and three goats.

In recent months Ms von der Leyen has signalled a willingness to relax EU protections against wolves, which she says are a “real danger” to livestock.

She has been accused of waging a personal vendetta against the wild animals following the death of her 30-year-old pony.

Leonie Vestering, a Dutch MP from the Party for the Animals, said: “Are we going to allow [her] to abuse her power for a personal payback because one of her ponies fell victim to the wolf?

“If the wolf is no longer protected, there is a good chance that it will be exterminated by hunting, as it was in the 19th century.”