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Political party wants to see Sweden's wolves 'eliminated'

Political party wants to see Sweden's wolves 'eliminated'

Published: 19 Nov 2011 10:39 GMT+01:00
Updated: 19 Nov 2011 10:39 GMT+01:00

The Nature Democrats (Naturdemokraterna), as they're calling themselves, hope to get a foot into the Riksdag, thereby getting influence over Swedish predator policy.

The news caused strong reactions, and the debate between wolf defenders and wolf critics has been vicious on several internet forums.

This caused one of the initiators, Gunilla Grönvall, to back down from the party's demand to eliminate the wolf, in an interview with daily newspaper Dagens Nyheter.

"We want a zero-tolerance policy in populated areas of the countryside, let's put it that way. But to say that we want to shoot all wolves would be be brutal," she said to the newspaper.

But according to the Nature Democratic head, hunter Marcus Werjefeldt, the original party line hasn't changed.

"We don't want to eradicate wolves. We just don't want them in Sweden," he said to TT.

Werjefeldt doesn't have a clear idea on how to best get the wolves out of the country, but maintains that policies need to change.

"This is all about getting a new predator policy."

Werjefeldt is surprised that the single-issue party has sparked so much attention.

"It can't be news that there are people who don't want wolves," he said.

TT/The Local/cg (news@thelocal.se)

Your comments about this article

11:25 November 19, 2011 by Rick Methven
"We don't want to eradicate wolves. We just don't want them in Sweden"

says the Natural Democrats

hmm

Change 'wolves' to 'immigrants' and 'Natural' To 'Swedish' and what have you got?
11:38 November 19, 2011 by lewni
There's only a couple of hundred of the poor unhealthy inbred buggers in Sweden, can't they just be left alone ?
11:47 November 19, 2011 by StockholmSam
Who was here first? I'm guessing the wolves were here long before this place was even called 'Sweden.'
12:00 November 19, 2011 by jvtx3232
Actually, the wolves and the indigenous native Swedes probably arrived at around the same time, in the wake of the retreating glaciers maybe around 10,000 years ago. Both species (wolves and Homo sapiens of the Swedish variety) would have followed the retreating glaciers north into new territory.

And I don't think people should get rid of wolves, in Sweden or any other country. Wolves are good for the Earth's natural environment.
12:15 November 19, 2011 by SimonDMontfort
I congratulate the 'Natural Democrats' for the clarity of their message - but detest what they stand for. How many more examples do we need of the dire consequences that follow when humanity messes with the environment?
12:20 November 19, 2011 by dtrocilo
No wonder psychoanalysis is long dead in Sweden. That's the only thing that could ever explain the swedish atavic fixation in eliminating these poor animals.
13:06 November 19, 2011 by skumdum
They have my vote.
13:11 November 19, 2011 by Gabin
mort aux cons.
13:15 November 19, 2011 by Svensksmith
I'd like to see polititians eliminated.
13:46 November 19, 2011 by The Green Turtle
Can someone with a little Swedish history knowledge explain to me where this hatred/fear of wolves comes from? For such a 'green' country this attitude confuses me.

Im from Australia and snakes aren't too popular but no one speaks of 'wiping them out'.
15:01 November 19, 2011 by Opinionfool
@Svensksmith

Yup and not just Swedish ones.
15:17 November 19, 2011 by J Jack
Norway slaughters whales, Sweden slaughters wolves & Danmark slaughters whales in a blood lust ceremony in Greenland. Shame Shame Smame !!! bad karma.
16:33 November 19, 2011 by zooeden
After the incluition of the Swedish Democrats any association of retards want to get a seat in Government, Im waiting for a union of lesbians against the world!!!

Oh wait there is!!!
18:43 November 19, 2011 by Steggles
I'll vote for the elimination of the political party.
19:36 November 19, 2011 by JoeE
This is anti-intellectualism at its best. For an ecosystem to be complete, then it needs it's top tier predators. Swedens wolves are already on the cusp of genetic disaster. What are there, a few hundred wolves? There are 9 million people in this country, a few hundred wolves won't be a problem beleive me. People need to stop playing God and learn to live with what the realities of the ecosystems of the region are. To kill off an entire species because of an occasional problem is insane. These aren't introduced species, they've long been a part of the environment and belong there. Read your own pagan history, even Odin had two wolves by his side. Your own genetic make up celebrates this! No one says you have to like them, but they belong to this place as much as you do and need to be respected at least as much.
19:56 November 19, 2011 by jonW
Seriously Wolves should be left alone,we live in rural central Sweden and have a local wolf population,we have seen them up close and they pose no threat or danger to people.Whilst they will attack and kill a dog as they have where we live,keep your hund in check and in sight and it won't happen..............whats wrong with these people?I will second the vote for elimination of this political party.
20:08 November 19, 2011 by Douglas Garner
As much as I fear for my pets and family while we are at our remote stuga in the woods (where one of our neighbors made the press after a wolf took his hunting dog last year) I do not support eliminating them, or the bears... the snakes however, I'd have to think of long and hard! We do hope our presense is adequate to deter them during the day, although we do fear for the cats at night.
20:47 November 19, 2011 by skumdum
There are at least 20 documented deadly wolf attacks each year in the world. I wouldn't let my kids play outside if I lived in a wolf infested area. This is exactly why they were exterminated in the first place. Too many children were murdered by wolfs.
21:42 November 19, 2011 by Grokh
party to evict wild life... ignorant morons...
01:40 November 20, 2011 by muscle
hmm.. strange, thelocal didn't publish any entertaining news this week... is the administration ok? I want my entertainment!

Oh or did i miss some news? :S
05:52 November 20, 2011 by GlennSigtuna
The old saga of dangerous wolfs vs the victimize human played itself out in the United States. But, that was over 100 years ago, when killing off problems was the common (ignorant) solution....whether it was a wolf or a peaty black man.

Killing wolfs is a ugly, stupid and disgraceful- as is British fox hunting or beating the brains out of baby seal for their fur.
10:52 November 20, 2011 by soultraveler3
JoeE in comment #16 said it perfectly.

The environment needs it's top predators in order to function properly. A few hundred poor wolves can't be a problem in a sparsely populated country of 9 million. Especially if the inhabitants of that country claim to be green and environmentally concerned.

I used to live in a much more densely populated area in the states where it was common place to see coyotes, deer, black bears, mountain lions and wolves. You'd have deer eat your plants and you'd read about an attack every now and then on a jogger, hiker or pet but nobody blamed the animals or wanted to eliminate them.

Most people had enough common sense to take a few simple precautions to protect themselves and their property (fencing, motion lights, jogging / hiking with friends, not letting pets outside all day or night without supervision etc.) that it wasn't usually a problem.

Most also knew, respected and enjoyed the fact that they choose to live in an area with many animals and predators. It's wonderful having a fox family move into your backyard or seeing a wolf walking down the street.

The wolves have just as much or more right to be there than the hicks that want to get rid of them. It's sick that anyone thought it'd be a good idea to create an entire political party in order to eliminate a species of animal.

I hope WWF, National Geographic, the Audubon Society etc. all hear about this and show the world the truth about Sweden and it's "green and environmentally friendly" ways.
12:04 November 20, 2011 by Imperor
Skumdum: Where did you get that information? I've never heard anything like that but the complete opposite, no recorded wolf attacks on humans, ever. A link would be nice. Because I think it's BS.

The problem for the hunters is that they are lazy gits who want to hunt with Dachshunds and Terriers instead of real dogs and those tiny morsels are perfect wolf-feed... If Swedish hunters and Shepherds could just adapt their methods they wouldn't have to fear wolves. But exterminating a whole breed of animal is clearly less work than getting a bigger dog.
14:32 November 20, 2011 by cen1
I agree with comments #16 and #23, amongst others.

This suggestion is completely absurd, and shows the ignorant prehistoric, and extremely arrogant, mentality of SOME swedes (mainly hunters).

These are caveman mentalities.
14:59 November 20, 2011 by jvtx3232
@scumdum: That is simply not true. Wolves do not attack/prey on human beings in general. It almost never happens. Oh sure, you could probably dig up a couple examples of a rabid wolf or a severely injured/desperate wolf etc. attacking a person every once in a great while. Every once in a blue moon.

But by and large it is quite obvious that wolves simply do not consider humans to be a suitable prey base. When you think of all the millions of opportunities wolves have ALL THE TIME to attack and kill humans who live in and around their habitat in various parts of the world, it is actually quite stunning to know that it simply doesn't happen!
17:31 November 20, 2011 by Imperor
Wikipedia has an article on wolf-attacks on humans. Seems like there are a few, but nothing like 20/year. More like two/year since 2000.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wolf_attacks_on_humans

Still these occur in places where there are a lot more wolves in larger packs and people are generally very uneducated. Russia, India, US, Afghanistan, etc and there is generally more to the story, one occurred in a zoo for instance! Others may well be blamed on wolves without clear proof.
17:51 November 20, 2011 by jvtx3232
Remember, attacks by captive, zoo, or pet wolves or captive wolf-dog hybrids do not count. All captive animals are more dangerous. Attacks by captive wolves are in no way indicative or representative of wild wolf behavior.

The Nature Democrats want to eliminate wild wolves.

A human being has a much greater chance of dying by getting struck by lighting, or of an infected hangnail, or some damn thing, than they do of getting killed (let alone attacked) by wild wolves.
19:56 November 20, 2011 by skumdum
"A few hundred wolfs wont cause a problem and ecosystem need a top predator"

Wolves are already a problem in Scandinavia and they wreak havoc with the ecosystem as we know it. Humans have been the top predator in Europe for a very long time. Remember that wolves were extinct in Scandinavia and only reintroduced in the 1970's.

If the EU thinks that wolves are such harmless little creatures why aren't they reintroduced in every EU country including Britain?

"Wolves do not attack/prey on human beings in general"

In general? One dead child is one too many. Especially when it can be so easily prevented.

To all loony wolves loving city folks - Yes, wolves are cute but it's not so cute anymore when it's your kid they are chewing on.
20:20 November 20, 2011 by cen1
@scum&dumb #29

Firstly, an original component of an ecosystem cannot wreak havoc on the said ecosystem, for it is an inherent part of it. (Note: Whether humans should/can be included as ecosystem members is a more complicated point, which can engage a lengthy philosophical discussion. But regardless, they are usually not included when "ecosystems" are mentioned).

Secondly, I have heard of no science describing wolves "wreaking havoc" on Scandinavian ecosystems.

Thirdly, humans wreak immeasurably enormous amounts of "havoc" (degradation and destruction) on every single ecosystem in the world. Humans also murder and rape each other quite regularly. By your own logic then humans should be illuminated (certainly for the good of 'ecosystems').

Reason why wolves can't be reintroduced to Britain = no habitat remains. Sweden has tonnes of habitat.

Your argument is ridiculous. Why not reveal your real reasons for prejudice? Perhaps you don't like the small chance of losing a hunting dog?
21:25 November 20, 2011 by skumdum
No I don't own a dog.

"Britain = no habitat remains"

Parts of northern Scotland is less populated than some of the proposed wolf territories in Sweden. I think this is a classic case of - I live wolves as long as they aren't in my backyard.
22:17 November 20, 2011 by Dreft2
Apparently most people who have commented so far have no insight into the Swedish wolf debate so I'd like to point out a few things.

1) The argumentation against having wolves has nothing to do with fear of them as a predator on man. It has to do with hunting - more specifically with hunting dogs. Hunting (recreational or utilitarian) is an ample activity among the rural Swedish working class. They are anti-wolf because they don't appreciate releasing their dog into a territory of wolves, because while wolves pose no threat to humans, they kill dogs, albeit quite rarely.

2) Unlike many people have noted, there is little environmental concern to be had over reduction of the wolf population. This is in fact *because* they are a top tier predator and easily replaced. The only noteworthy effect they have on the ecosystem is a reduction of moose and deer populations - a reduction that is entirely necessary (there are something like 40 thousand moose and deer related traffic accidents yearly in Sweden; moose grazing damage on young pine seedlings is a concern for the forest industry, et c) but which is also entirely under the control of the hunters - humans are indeed an equally effective top tier predator. In other words, the wolves kill moose and deer, which is good, but the moose and deer might as well be shot - and would be, were there no wolves. Also, the ecological and environmentally friendly protein of said moose and deer would be fed to humans instead of going into the food-chain dead end that is a wolf. Side note: The wolf population has been kept at marginal levels since the 1700s. 30 years ago, there were 2 or so wolves in Sweden - it is not a concern.

On the other hand, I'm not a hunter, so I have no personal reason to want wolves out of the country. Then again, they serve little purpose, while the hunting they prohibit has recreational, economical and ecological values, so why not. Yeah, it is that simple - why not remove the wolves?

Banalities like "they were here first", "what rights have you got", "how would you feel if the wolf shot you instead", "humans are a greater harm to the eco-systems than any other species so kill yourself" are regular arguments. Jesus! The reason we care about the eco-systems is so that WE, the humans, can keep living on earth. That's why we take the right to eliminate factors that make our lives harder to live, whether they are natural or social. That's why we build cities, breed animals and cut down forests. Killing ourselves would be of little help in our effort to further society. As long as we keep planting new trees, the biosphere oxygen levels will remain sufficient!

Most pro-wolfists appear to be city folk who are concerned with the environment, which is good. But they have very little practical understanding of how nature and society work together. We shape nature, and have done so for thousands of years. Newsflash!
00:31 November 21, 2011 by Schwoebel
I bet you if a pack of wolves were in Stockholm Centrum and killed a few little chihuahua lap dogs, political opinions would change. After those wolves were immediately shot and killed, of course.
04:43 November 21, 2011 by Smiling Canuk
I'm half native Indian and my ancestors on that side lived in perfect harmony with wolves until the Euros arrived.

Even today:

Canada has 100,000+ wolves. Where I live - Ontario - 15,000 wolves, not including coyotes and wild dogs. Regarded as environmentally important.

I live in a rural part of Ontario and see wolves occassionally. They do not bother people. Wolves do not attack people. Yes they can be a problem for some farmers once in awhile but learn to live with it.

Sweden has only 300 wolves. Your wolves are a national treasure and need to be preserved at all costs. Euros have eridicated wolves from almost all the continent and still have medieval superstition beliefs regarding these magnificent animals. Swedes, despit the idiots in your midst, do better than this. Preserve you wolves.
06:42 November 21, 2011 by biddi
The 'killing party'. Glad I left Sweden. I'm with 'The Green Turtle'.
07:39 November 21, 2011 by Duron1
what about killing off some of these people that atack kids

they should should start eliminating them instead of going after the wolves
12:24 November 21, 2011 by Dreft2
#34: "Sweden has only 300 wolves. Your wolves are a national treasure and need to be preserved at all costs."

What do you base this on?... There's little genetic value in the current wolf population. The original population died out 40 years ago, and what we have now are inbred, hybridised wolves of a Finnish-Russian origin. On top of that, the wolf is a globally vital species.
12:41 November 21, 2011 by RobinHood
Wolves are evil and should be eradicated like smallpox. No sane person could fail to support the Nature Democats.

Little Red Riding Hood's grandma was eaten by one, two little pigs had their houses blown down by one. If bitten by one under a full moon, you will certainly become a half man, half wolf like creature. If there is a wolf within 100kms of you, it will hunt you down and kill you and your children.

Down with this sort of thing. Vote for the Nature Democtrats.
17:21 November 21, 2011 by jvtx3232
"In general? One dead child is one too many. Especially when it can be so easily prevented."

You're an utter moron. By your retarded logic we should kill all snakes, bees, and sharks too. After all, each of these species have probably killed a child or two at some point somewhere around the world.
00:33 November 22, 2011 by skumdum
No my friend. But if a killer species was introduced I would argue against it.
01:55 November 22, 2011 by waffen
Commenter 34 also knows that legend has foretold in North America that the white man will cease to exist whereas the Native Peoples will live on as they have since time.

The wolves and all of the native animal species will live on and thrive, as well, because the Native Peoples consider that all things are equal and all share equal space upon the earth, unlike the whiteman.

Anyone who advocates killing of wolves has no manifiestations of good humanity left, and speak only for themselves. The wolves will retreat to where they are not hunted, and become even more elusive, as a survival mechanism.

Sweden might or might not live on as before, yet ninety percent of the commenters are for the right of the wolves to live, so the good Swedes will most likely live on whereas those others will leave the gene pool.
13:44 November 22, 2011 by cen1
@ Dreft2 #31

Valid points which I think everyone understands: The anti-wolf debate is a hunting lobby issue, not a human safety issue. The retorts regarding wolf-on-human attacks were posted in response to ridiculous claims by a few that it IS a human safety issue.

Depressingly, I am astonished by the radical anthropocentric and incredibly naive nature of the comments in the latter half of your post. Unless you are a fundamental christian who follows the bibles text literally in that "man is to have dominion over the earth", there is no basis for this mentality. All that matters is NOT "how is x,y,z, useful to humans", and if it is not useful or marginally useful then git rid of it. This is a mentality that leads to all kinds of tragedy. Philosophically, there valid arguments, that are not easily refuted, for why other animals/ecosystems/components of this world have inherent value/rights. See work by Peter Singer and Aldo Leopold for starters.

Secondly, we (as humans) are FAR to ignorant of the functioning of the natural world to even contemplate the possibility of being able to manage the natural world. The worlds leading scientists would be the first to state this. Of course you can say "we shape nature", which can either pertain to small scale examples such as the domestication of single species, or larger scale "shaping" (i.e. destruction) on larger scales (which has/is having terrible consequences). Biodiversity = ecosystem stability. Humans depend on ecosystem stability in ways most people don't even think about.

The reckless and selfish attitude you have towards the natural world, if manifested practically, will come back to sting you. The saddest thing is it probably wouldn't be you, it would be future generations receiving this horrible legacy.
15:57 November 22, 2011 by Dreft2
#41: You make a good point, and one that is fundamental to ecology - there's more we don't know about our ecosystems than we do, and we must be very careful in handling them, and be sure that we know what we do to them before we do it.

But that doesn't mean we don't know anything, or that we must do nothing. We know a bit, and gradually know more and more through science. There are some things we must do to alter nature because our societies themselves inevitably alter it in a way that is disadvantageous to us, thus that we must do our best to counter-act it. We are inevitably part of nature, and inevitably alter it. Realising this is not reckless or selfish - it's important, for future generations not at least.

Your moral philosophy is something entirely separate from this, but quite interesting. I value ecosystems because they are useful to us. Do they have inherit value? I care about welfare, equality and happiness in humans and the well-being of other species (which has nothing to do with religion because I'm entirely atheist), but I don't see the point of something existing for the sake of it existing. It would not concern me were it not there, unless its being here is of practical value. But that is a slightly different discussion.
16:17 November 22, 2011 by reality22
Wolves will never live well around people. Some areas are not habitat for wolves..... When brought in they are a burden to the local people & the taxpayer.
04:27 November 23, 2011 by skumdum
I hear you reality22. There simply are no habitat left in Sweden for wolves. Not that we cant keep a few at the zoo.
08:59 November 25, 2011 by whitewolfe
I always had respect for Sweden.....but now.... my friends and I at first boycott the country. To Visit Sweden is a NO GO. It is not correct to kill everything that does not adjusts to the people! Many blessings from a wolf friend! ~Whitewolfe~
20:00 November 25, 2011 by Romany
Scotland want's to bring back the wolf. There has to be other options? You don't have to kill them.
14:26 November 30, 2011 by Beckiie
I live in Sweden. And I really am embaressed living here right now. There are alot who are aswell. Wish there were something I could do. But what can a "single person" make for a diffrence?

All I know is that I don't want to live in Sweden, to accept and let the government do what they do to the predators living here. There is only a few wolves left, around 150. Sad part is, they are endangered here, therefor at the moment they can't be hunt down if there isn't for a safety reason.. now a politician want to make a new rule... so people can get license easier, and kill the wolf whenever they want.. This breaks my heart.
15:08 May 12, 2012 by Harry Grouse
What would the wolf haters have to shoot if there were no wolves. People kill people every day no one says wipe out the killers of people. If no one can get along and be rational and work together than everyobe is a looser!. Look at Easter island the people there killed and ate everything and consumed every possible resource. When there was nothing left what do you think happened?
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