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Swedish hunters to target marauding raccoon dogs

TT/Peter Vinthagen Simpson · 4 Sep 2009, 13:17

Published: 04 Sep 2009 13:17 GMT+02:00

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The Swedish National Environmental Protection Agency (Naturvårdsverket) has supported calls from the Swedish Hunters Association (Svenska Jägareförbundet) to target the animal which is described as a pest and has been compared to the American mink or the Spanish slug.

"This is good, we would rather that it is removed completely from the Swedish environment," Melanie Josefsson at the agency said.

The chances of a hunter coming across the beast, which resembles the raccoon in appearance but is no relation, are small as the animals are extremely rare in Sweden.

The Swedish authorities have in recent years led a successful fight to keep the raccoon dog population, which is indigenous to China, Korea and Siberian Russia, to a minimum.

"We think that it can be prevented from establishing itself as we have already begun to fight it at an early stage," Josefsson said.

But a new threat has emerged after over 20 recording sightings of the animal in neighbouring Denmark, with three occasions on record in 2008 alone.

Sweden now fears an amphibian invasion of the pest across the Öresund waterway between Copenhagen and Malmö.

The Swedes have previously taken a less ruthless approach to tackling the problem, employing instead a method of sterilization and tracking.

There are currently ten animals in Sweden carrying a radio transmitter inserted by researchers at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences who are conducting a project on the species.

Story continues below…

Hunters have been urged to shoot only those that have not yet been identified.

Once the raccoon dog establishes a population in a country's flora and fauna it can be very difficult to root out. The animal is a known carrier of tapeworm and rabies and can threaten species of birds.

Swedish animal protection legislation does not cover wild animals and therefore the raccoon dog can be freely hunted. There has however been no formal decision taken to exterminate the species, Lottie Göransson Uhrnell at the agency told the Dagens Nyheter newspaper.

TT/Peter Vinthagen Simpson (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

17:07 September 4, 2009 by tigger007

you have rapist running around and all the swedish government can think about is these animals.
18:03 September 4, 2009 by MTTRN
"But a new threat has emerged after over 20 recording sightings of the animal in neighbouring Denmark, with three occasions on record in 2008 alone"

Say no more...
18:44 September 4, 2009 by justanotherexpat
Close the Öresund Bridge! Have armed patrols on a shoot-to-kill policy! Oh and whilst they're at it, perhaps they can look for these raccoondoggiethingies.....
13:13 September 5, 2009 by life is important
It is amazing that many humans think they can play God! Let this charming animal live and mind your own business! Nature takes care of its problems and always solves them to the very best!!! Don`t mess up with nature because it will strike back in a way you don`t know since you have a very limited knowledge of nature itself. And above all don`t encourage these hunters to do more harm than they already do!
16:03 September 5, 2009 by Renfeh Hguh
life is important.....

The animal is not native and was introduced to Europe by hunters in the last century. Time for modern hunters to make up for mistakes of the past.
02:13 September 6, 2009 by Johnny Salami
As a citizen of the USA, I'm outraged that you single out the American Mink as a pest.

What about Communist minks, or Mexican minks or something? Don't they have them in North Korea?? Pick on them, why don't you? They're the ones that built an A-Bomb on the sly. Well, bad example, but you get my drift.

Just lay off Uncle Sam. After all, we liberated you from the Nazis.
18:15 September 8, 2009 by AlYork
By all means-stop this pest. Where I live they have completely eliminated and made extinct, the white crested jackelope.
03:19 September 9, 2009 by Lariviere
YES we must stop this non-native pest. Coons are not native to Sweden and should be trapped and sent back to Africa.
13:55 September 9, 2009 by Ashni
Shocking that this is your priority!

There is civilization.. and there is civilisation!
16:30 September 11, 2009 by losungen
How long before we see Britney Spears and Paris Hilton with one of these adorable creatures in their handbag - rabies and all.
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