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EU reprimands Sweden over wolf hunt plan

EU reprimands Sweden over wolf hunt plan

Published: 21 Dec 2012 08:05 GMT+01:00
Updated: 21 Dec 2012 08:05 GMT+01:00

The European Commission wants Sweden to put the brakes on an upcoming wolf hunt, arguing the Swedish government has not adequately proved how it plans to keep the wolf population healthy.

The EU Environment Commissioner Janez Potocnik included the criticism in a letter to Sweden's Environment Minister Lean Ek

"I am incredibly angry," Ek told the TT news agency.

"We have tried to find a balance between keeping the wolves in Sweden and the frustration that people who live in areas with wolves feel."

Ek claims that Brussels only sees one side of the issue.

"The Commission only thinks about the preservation aspect."

Ek was hoping to resume a licenced wolf hunt this year after a one-year break.

Sweden has argued its 2010 decision to reinstate a licenced wolf hunt after a several decade-long hiatus was an attempt to weed out unhealthy wolves from the population, which is small enough to be at risk of inbreeding.

Torbjörn Lövbom, chairman of the predator section of the Swedish Hunting Association (Svenska Jägareförbundet), also reacted negatively to the Commissioner's letter.

"The Commission has chosen to polarize opinion on the wolves further and they make it harder for us to protect the wolves in the long run," he told TT.

It is not the first time Sweden is at odds with the commission over the issue.

In early 2011, Potocnik also took the Swedes to task.

"The actions of the Swedish authorities leave me with little choice other than to propose to the Commission that it begin formal proceedings against Sweden for breach of EU environmental law."

Ann Dahlerus, secretary general of the Swedish Predators Association, agrees with the Commission's latest criticism.

She thinks Sweden's Environment Minister and the Centre Party, which has its traditional voting base in the countryside, are behaving like populists and using the issue for vote-fishing.

"I think it's rather sad that the Commission has to swoop in and fix Swedish politics so we can have a sustainable wolf policy," Dahlreus told TT.

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Your comments about this article

10:34 December 21, 2012 by Hisingen
The Local reporter does not know the difference between breaks and brakes in the expression 'put the brakes on'.
15:16 December 21, 2012 by Borilla
The Moderates/Centre Party buying a few votes at the expense of the wolf population.Nothing makes the Swedish male feel quite so brave and strong as aimlessly shooting at things that don't shoot back.
18:58 December 21, 2012 by rohermoker
Sound game and fish policy, Germans and French knowing what is best for Sweden (remember when the Germans were protecting Norway from British control) , and Vote fishing. I know what is best for the Swede's, but no one ask's me. By the way "aimlessly shooting at things that don't shoot back" when I get a chicken from the store, I dont even think about it chopping off my head, gutting me with a machine, cutting me into smallbits for dinner... wow what a lot to think about
19:41 December 21, 2012 by johan rebel
Ek is incredibly angry? She ought to be incredibly ashamed of herself!

Spain, with a surface area 10% greater than Sweden but a human population five times as large, harbors over 2,000 wolves. So why can't Sweden accommodate a few hundred?

And yes, hunters are by definition yellow cowards. If they want to prove their manhood they should go after a bear armed only with a spear.
21:09 December 21, 2012 by dazhug
red nect twats!!!
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