Rabies risk as dog smuggling increases

The number of dogs being smuggled into Sweden is increasing. Up to 100 dogs have been caught being brought in to the country illegally since last summer and the problem is getting worse.

Most dogs are missing records, such as kennel information, vaccination statistics and other “identification”, according to the Swedish Board of Agriculture, who are acting to solve the problem.

“When we only had a dog here and a dog there it was so much easier to handle”, said My Sahlman at the board.

The Swedish National Veterinary Association has been instructed to monitor the risk of rabies, according to Svenska Dagbladet.

Sweden, alongside the other nations in the European Union, has successfully kept rabies at bay – so far.

“However, now when there are new countries in the union it seems the situation has worsened a bit,” said Karl Gunnheden at Swedish Customs.

People are making money on smuggling dogs because it is cheaper to buy them in the new member states, but these new states are not yet free of rabies. In November 30 puppies from Rumania were intercepted.

“Lately there’s been a mass transportation of dogs, and it’s quite clear what’s going on since private people would not travel with that many dogs”, said Gunnheden.

Sources: Svenska Dagbladet


Outrage after Malmö council officers shoot aggressive swan dad

A swan living on a canal in central Malmö was shot dead by professional hunters on Sunday night, just weeks before the birth of his eight cygnets.

Outrage after Malmö council officers shoot aggressive swan dad
A swan studies its reflection in Malmö's Pildammsparken. Photo: Jakob Nilsson-Ehle/Flickr
The male swan or 'cob' signed his own death sentence earlier this year, when he attacked a group of children near his nest close to Malmö's police station, causing several of the youngsters to fall into the water. 
“I understand that people are upset about this. I'm upset myself. I conserve nature. I don't usually kill things,” Ola Enqvist, a nature conservationist employed by Malmö's local government, told The Local. 
“All male swans defend their nests of course. But this swan was particularly angry. He attacked everybody who passed by, and people were afraid.” 
One local resident, Martina Andersson, told the Sydsvenskan newspaper that she found the decision “extremely upsetting”. 
“They were a real feature of the area,” she said of the swans. “He is only protecting his mate from the canoeists who paddle by, but it doesn't do anyone any harm.” 
Enqvist said two hunters had been granted special police permission to use a firearm and had then both shot the swan simultaneously to ensure he was killed instantly. They carried out the shooting late on Sunday night to minimize the risk of passers-by being alarmed. 
Enqvist said that to his knowledge the city authorities had never before had to put a swan down. 
“This was the first time it's happened, and I hope the last,” he commented.
As for the swan's mate, he said he hoped she would be capable of hatching and nurturing the eight eggs in her nest alone.  
“We think and hope that she will be able to bring up the children. She is the one in the nest, not the male, so we hope she will manage to do it herself,” he said.