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Sweden gives green light to controversial wolf hunt

AFP/The Local · 3 Dec 2009, 06:49

Published: 03 Dec 2009 06:49 GMT+01:00

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The Swedish Environmental Protection Agency is to announce by mid-December its quota for the wolf cull, expected to be between 20 and 40 animals, Susanna Löfgren of the agency told AFP.

"That (number is) what (experts) have offered us, we're working on it and a decision will be taken mid-December," Löfgren said.

The regions where the hunt will be allowed are the provinces of Dalarna, Gävleborg county and Örebro county in the country's centre, as well as the provinces of Västergötland in the southwest and Värmland in the west.

The Swedish parliament decided in October to limit the wolf population to 210 animals, spread out in 20 packs, for the next five years by issuing hunting permits in regions where wolves have reproduced in the past three years.

"The main reason for the decision is to raise the (public's) acceptance of wolves" in Sweden by limiting their number, Löfgren said.

The animal's presence is controversial in the Nordic country as domestic and wild animals are increasingly attacked by wolves, which have been sighted recently near residential areas, including near the capital Stockholm.

The environmental protection agency estimated Sweden's wolf population to be between 182 and 217 animals last winter.

It said the hunt would start in January and end before mating season begins in mid-February.

Story continues below…

Wolves almost became extinct in Sweden in the 1970s but their number has increased steadily since efforts were made to reintroduce the animal to the country.

Like some other European countries, Sweden allows the hunt of protected species, such as the brown bear and the lynx, in order to cull stocks.

AFP/The Local (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

11:43 December 3, 2009 by peropaco
I distinctly remember Sweden criticizing Norway for their decision to cull wolves back in 2000. Now they are showing their hypocrisy by doing the same.
12:54 December 3, 2009 by David White
shame shame shame.. I am convinced that there are more civilized ways to control animal population. Sweden's wolf population to be between 182 and 217 animals!!! what parliament is thinking about? it is still almost extinct species..
13:14 December 3, 2009 by Freyja14
I am ASHAMED of Sweden's actions!! What a joke. We treat our animals no better than anywhere else in the world.
13:58 December 3, 2009 by Roy E
Why all the self-righteous sympathy for wolves? What about all the moose calves, domestic dogs, sheep, chickens, and other livestock that wolves destroy? They're not vegans, you know. It's pretty clear that commenters have no real world experience with wolves and base their opinions on romantic notions of them. Your outrage is probably better directed towards Canadian baby seal clubbers if you absolutely must strike a pose of faux moral superiority.
14:07 December 3, 2009 by crofab
Managing populations of wildlife is one thing, but wolves are nearly extirpated in Sweden! I don't really see the wisdom in this decision.
14:25 December 3, 2009 by karex
I have read in another article about a month ago (when I saw one just 150 meters from my house) that the discussions about allowing the cull were related to diseases caused by inbreeding. It appears that in the 17970s there were only three individuals left in the country, and despite animals having migrated from Finland, Russia and Estonia, the larger partof the current wolf population seems to descend from the three initial individuals. Heart and other diseases have developed due to this and the government was considering culling to control the health of the population.

So far so good. However, unless they catch, sedate, test and then mark the sick individuals, how are the hunters supposed to know which they should target and which they shouldn't?
15:15 December 3, 2009 by planethero
Thats easy, they release an american roadrunner bird.

The stupid inbred wolves will try to run after it, but will be too slow. The clever mixed gene wolves will set traps in canyons using ex army surplus gear (ACME).

Meep Meep.
20:16 December 3, 2009 by vento
Ok, so ... when will start in the same way to contain swedes population? I think they are neighter protected...

Politician are just hunters ? everything here is based in hunting?

217 wolfs a problem ?
20:49 December 3, 2009 by Osokin
Sweden's policies towards animals is one of the worst in the world. Sweden's policies towards humans is one of the best. See if you can figure that one cause I can't.
20:52 December 3, 2009 by Bumblebeetuna
That only works on coyotes. Haha.

I'm sure that city people have a different perspective than the ones in the country with livestock and children. I think there was wisdom in this. People in Värmland and Dalarna are terrified of these preditors. People in Stockholm aren't.
21:13 December 3, 2009 by vento
ahahahah.... people in dalarna is terrified of predatros.....???Hahahah i live in much more wild place, and there is a group of wolf in the village... we have childrens and dogs... swedes are maybe scared of their shadows? NO RISK by wolfes and bears!!! they eat only swedes meat :D
21:48 December 3, 2009 by karex
People always fear what they don't understand. I went online to do some research when I saw a wolf 150m from home while in my car, in a region my husband swore there were none: 30 km NE of Borås. (since then several neighbors have seen them so he now believes me).

Naturally, I wanted to know how I should react if I were ever to encounter one while walking in the woods - do I run? do I climb up the nearest tree?. So I did a little research.

According to specialists, a lot of the fear associated with wolves comes from folklore, not reality. Wolves are social animals who defend their territory from intruders (other wolves outside their own pack or family unit). When you happen to meet one in the woods they normally stare at you, in some kind of "chicken" game. All you do is stare back. It is the wolf who usually breaks off the stare and just goes away.

They don't normally attack people because they recognize us as a different "animal" and therefore don't feel a need to defend their territory against us (poor misguided creatures). They will only be compelled to become aggressive in specific situations:

1. You stumble upon a den with pups and become too curious and get too close.

2. You come across a fresh kill and start poking at it or messing with it.

3. You are walking a dog.

Situations 1 and 2 are true for any wild and even some domesticated animals, just about. All wild animals will defend their youg and their food.

The thing about the dog is that they won't really be attacking the person walking the dog, but usually the dog itself. It seems the wolf sees a dog as a "strange" type of wolf and will try to first drive it away and if that doesn't work, kill it.

But when this type of situation happens, people often panic and assume the wolf was attacking them and the dog defended them...
03:14 December 4, 2009 by anticommie
looks like I need a new fur coat.
03:31 December 4, 2009 by Davey-jo
You kill wolves; you kill yourselves
08:15 December 4, 2009 by ludvignobel
"Listen to the howl of our spiritual brother, the wolf, for how it goes with him, so it goes for the natural world."

--Oren R. Lyons, Spokesman, Traditional Circle of Elders

If we watch nature, we can tell a lot about what is going on in the world. The animals and the plants are great teachers. Some time ago, crops were sprayed with a poison to kill the insects. Other animals ate the insects. The small animals were eaten by the Eagles and the Wolves. We live in an interconnected system. What we do to one, we do to all. If our spiritual brothers are living in balance, chances are we humans are also living in balance.
12:28 December 4, 2009 by karex
ludvignobel and Davey-jo

12:41 December 4, 2009 by M.F.
It is a disgrace. Every country has its nature and animals and Sweden has the honour to still have this beautiful animal, we should do anything possible to preserve it! The natural chain should be respected, even if some farmers will lose a sheep or two now and then (I am sure they can afford it!). Most of all it is not up to us human beings to decide who should live or die. Wolves do not attach humans and moreover people who live in the wilderness know how to take care of themselves, just like the ones who live in the cities know which dangers they may come across. I know a woman who lives in the outskirts of Stockholm where a couple of wolves started living. She and all neighbourhood are exited and happy to witness this event and they do not fear. Who passed the law! Overprotective mamas or restless hunters? Sweden please do not disappoint me! Rethink the law!
03:52 December 5, 2009 by lingonberrie
Sweden is becoming more like the United States, a real tragedy.

Killing wolves is wrong, and that sick action brings into question the values of the society that does so, but killing wolves from a helicopter is evidence of a sick society that is in decline.
18:05 December 5, 2009 by norling
I live in the lower 48 of the US, we don't hunt wolves here. Thats only done in Canada. In Alaska they cull to keep the pack healthy. Where I live in Minnesota we have the highest concentration of wolves in the lower 48 and the highest concentration of deer, seeing wolves is a common occurance and they don't attack dogs for any other reason than they like to eat them.
21:39 December 5, 2009 by Uncle
Karex - one question just to enrich my knowledge about wolves... What do the wolves eat?

I mean when the wolf sees "other animal" and he is hungry at that very moment - why would he stare and then walk away, instead of trying to make this animal his lunch?
22:45 December 5, 2009 by norling
Wolves eat deer and elk and rabbits by nature, they also like domestic livestock because they are easy to kill, domestic dogs are considered a treat to good to pass up, humans smell so foul to them that they just walk away.
11:21 December 18, 2009 by WriterDirector
This is complete Bulls**t!,

These animals are EXTINCT, in America they we're hunted to Extinction. If Sweden is to follow in the ways of the US, then perhaps they should also stop allowing Insurgent Muslims here. If any living species is threat to the "Swedish Way Of Life", it would be the so called asylum seekers that wish to destroy the civilized world as We know it. I prefer animals to people, as humans tend to screw things up. You won't see Wolves trying to change us into Islamic turds. lol : ))
16:59 January 2, 2010 by k84
And now Sweden became the shame of the European Union. Unfortunately the Swedish Hunting Association is very influential and its members set in the Parliament. What can we do?? So... a country like Sweden with an area of 449,964 km2 has 200 wolves and those corrupt parliamentarians say they are too more.... What a hypocrisy, shame on you ! !
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