Initiated by the European Commission, it aims to facilitate dialogue between participants affected by the presence of large carnivores, such as wolves, the brown bear and the Eurasian Lynx, which pose a threat to livestock.
European farming and co-operative body Copa-Cogeca is one of the organisations that signed the agreement. At the launch on Monday (10 June), it highlighted the need to find "adequate solutions" to the concerns and difficulties livestock producers are facing.
Emmanuel Coste, chairman of the Copa–Cogeca Sheep Working Party, said: "More and more sheep herders have their animals killed by large carnivores – even those who established protection measures.
"The number of attacks, especially on sheep, is increasing rapidly, causing severe losses in production and consequently in income. This discourages young farmers to take over the farms, leading to abandonment of extensive grazing areas, which increases the losses of high-value biodiversity.
"Current protection measures are very costly and not sufficiently efficient. Wolves searching for easy prey are even attacking during the day, being no longer afraid of humans, thus getting closer to farms, households, and even towns. This is why compensation payments are no longer the only solution."
Pekka Pesonen, secretary-general, Copa-Cogeca, added: "We respect the legislation in place, however in view of the dynamics of the large carnivores’ population, but also EU enlargement, we are persuaded this no longer corresponds to reality."