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Officials threatened over wolf hunt

TT/The Local · 30 Apr 2010, 14:47

Published: 30 Apr 2010 14:47 GMT+02:00

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The programme interviewed 45 public officials who had worked with wild animal issues in their respective county for more than a year. Half of this number reported having been on the receiving end of death threats and other harassment.

Per Johansson, who works within Dalarna county in central Sweden, claimed that his life had been threatened on at least two occasions.

Johansson also reported that on one occasion the tyres on his car had been slashed while the vehicle was parked at his home.

"Eight metres from the kitchen window," he told Kaliber.

Mats Hallin,a nature preservation official at the County Administrative Board of Dalarna, told of his concern over the way people show their dissatisfaction with how the issue is managed.

"One usually works alone so it makes for an unsafe workplace or working situation," said Hallin.

Sveriges Television (SVT) is also set to claim in a documentary scheduled for broadcast on Sunday that a group of hunters works systematically to try to exterminate the Swedish wolf population. SVT claims that the group deploys poisoned meat, traps and high-calibre rifles.

"The vermin should be got rid of, plain and simple," said one of the hunters, according to SVT.

Torbjörn Lövbom at the Swedish Hunters' Association (Svenska Jägareförbundet), has condemned both the threats and illegal hunting. He argues that the reports are a sign of the "increased polarisation of the wild animal issue which has become more prominent after the wolf hunt," referring to a recent decision to permit the limited culling of wolves.

"It has resulted in some people in the periphery (of the hunting community) who wish to appear decisive and have taken matters into their own hands quite simply, but I think it is a very, very small group."

Lövbom and the others at the association say that they do not know of any group engaged in the illegal hunting of wolves.

Story continues below…

He notes that both public officials and hunters have received threats.

"I myself have received threatening letters in connection with the wolf hunt, which were even handwritten," he said.

Torbjörn Lövbom argues that the debate has at times become exaggerated, with talk of the mass slaughter of wolves, or that the culling had been conducted improperly. He called on all those engaged in the debate to act responsibly and moderate their tone.

TT/The Local (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

20:26 April 30, 2010 by Greg in Canada
In another article I believe it stated there are around 300 wolves in all of Sweden. I come from a country that has an estimated 60,000 wolves or more, so its hard for me to understand why these tiny amount of wolves need to be culled in the first place. BTW- I'm against wolf culls over here also.
00:01 May 1, 2010 by booka
Probably stuck somewhere between wanting them all killed and not wiping the off the face of sweden.
00:13 May 1, 2010 by badgerknox
I agree that many more than 300 wolves could live in sweden and there is no real need for a cull. On the other hand, why threaten wildlife officials? They don't make policy decisions. It's asinine, especially as those people making the threats probably consider themselves and represent themselves as non-violent pacifists.
09:13 May 2, 2010 by Nemesis
The cull was not needed.


In the UK the animal rights people started threatening people, then they escalated.



Allowing these people to operate in Sweden has the potential to do serious damage to the pharmaceutical sector if not tackled head on from day one.
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