Judges have provisionally outlawed the use of paintball guns to deter wolves from approaching people in the Hoge Veluwe national park.
Gelderland province wanted to fire paintball pellets at wolves to prevent them becoming too tame, but conservation organisation Faunabescherming challenged the plan in court.
The Midden-Nederland district court said the province had not provided enough evidence to support its plan and gave it six weeks to come up with a more detailed explanation. Until then the paintball guns will have to be kept in cold storage.
Wolves have enjoyed protected status since they returned to the Netherlands in 2015, which means they cannot be caught, killed or disturbed in the wild.
Faunabescherming said other methods such as banning people from taking food into the park or creating a restricted area were more appropriate, but the province argued these were insufficient or unfeasible.
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