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EU demands answers over Swedish wolf hunt

TT/The Local · 27 Aug 2010, 16:00

Published: 27 Aug 2010 16:00 GMT+02:00

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The Swedish Society for Nature Conservation (SSNC, Naturskyddsföreningen), the Swedish Association of Predatory Animals (Svenska Rovdjursföreningen), the World Wildlife Fund and Animal Welfare Sweden (Djurskyddet Sverige) have complained about the hunt to the Commission.

In a letter to the government, the commission reminded it of EU directives in force in Sweden on the preservation of habitats for wild animals and plants. During the hunt, 28 wolves were killed out of a total of about 182 to 217 animals. The commission wrote that it "seems very likely" that the hunt has increased the risk of inbreeding.

The commission is asking for Sweden to consider that the conservation status was sound before the hunt and whether the hunt has had an affect on the status. It also called for a scientific basis for Sweden's position.

While it waits for a reply, the commission believes that the status "was not favourable when the hunting license was effective and that the hunt made the conservation status less favourable."

In addition to questioning the scientific basis for the hunt, the wommission would also like to know why Sweden set a limit of 210 wolves for the entire country and the scientific reasons behind it.

Furthermore, the commission wants to know whether the hunt was to "limit the population" or "control the scope" on the basis of such a large proportion of the wolves being killed.

Sweden will also account for how many wolves were killed annually in accidents and defensive and illegal hunting. The commission believes that the purpose of the hunt was not clear. As such, it wants to know the objective behind it and whether it was achieved.

According to a decision made by Sweden's parliament, the Riksdag, the migration of wolves from the east has already been under way since this year. The commission now asks whether the transfer has already begun and if the appropriate personnel, vehicles and other equipment are in place to cope with it.

Story continues below…

Separately, a wolf was killed in a sheep pen near Dala-Järna in central Sweden's Dalarna on Friday, according to police in the county. The wolf had killed a sheep when it was discovered. According to the first preliminary investigation, the wolf was a young female.

The sheep owner told police that more sheep are in the vicinity of the site and that he was worried that they too would be killed. Owners of defenseless animals are entitled to shoot predators that kill or threaten their animals under hunting regulations.

TT/The Local (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

18:29 August 27, 2010 by christopherx2
I remember working on a wolf reserve in Portugal. They're a bit skinnier down there I think. Bloody dangerous animals when they want or need to be. I'd hate to think of a Swedish person being attacked and mauled by one, or a Swedish farmer losing lifestock to them. Shoot them all, I say.
19:54 August 27, 2010 by Twiceshy
> Bloody dangerous animals when they want or need to be.

I swear that reminds me of another animal...
20:40 August 27, 2010 by jack sprat
""Sweden will account for wolves killed in illegal hunting.""

A bit difficult I would say.

The farmers I know just pop them off then fit them with a large stone necklace before dropping them in the middle of a lake.

No trace,no transponder signal.
20:54 August 27, 2010 by eZee.se
The report should be a good read... I'm betting its going to contain a little more BS than any similar report before it but a little less BS than any report after it.
01:19 August 28, 2010 by VicTaulic
What does EU say about Norway and whaling?
01:30 August 28, 2010 by Roy E
Does Sweden really want EU membership?

It's seems a lot like having a live in mother-in-law you cannot escape.
03:38 August 28, 2010 by waffen
I would like to see the scientific basis for this as well.

The wildlife management scheme is too much like Sarah Palin's idea of wolf control in Alaska to suit me, as was the idea of killing all of the wolves last year that escaped their poorly maintained enclosure.

Those wolves were habituated to a point that their danger to anyone was less than that of feral dogs.

The wolf populatlion is tiny when compared to sparsely populated Northern Sweden.

I have fished, hunted, hiked and canoed the wild areas of Washington State and Maine, and the sparsely populated areas of Pennsylvania.

The danger in Pennsylvania, which is full of bears, copperheads and rattlesnakes, is from packs of wild dogs; and even though Maine has courgars, the main danger there is from the two legged inhabitants. Washington State has an occasional grizzly, many black bears and cougars, but in not one of the three States have I ever encountered any problems with the native wild animals.

Wolf attacks in the wild are almost non-existent.
09:42 August 28, 2010 by RoyceD
there is no scientific basis for a wolf hunt. You can't claim that an open wolf hunt is in someway beneficial to science or has any value as an experiment.

The only thing a wolf hunt helps is lazy farmers who can't be bothered putting up proper fencing for THEIR OWN livestock.

Also if you put defenseless animals in an open cage where their natural predators live what do you expect will happen?
09:46 August 28, 2010 by superturbo
The EU should mind their own business....
10:07 August 28, 2010 by 4thtankie
wolves are wild animals and they eats sheep,,,doh,,,our constant control of wildlife needs to be stopped now
19:42 August 29, 2010 by wenddiver
@Roy E- My God, you have captured the essence of that Perfectly-THE EU, NOT SO MUCH ANOTHER NANNY STATE, MORE LIKE AN UNWANTED MOTHER-IN- LAW STATE. Pure Genius. I'm going to steal that and start calling the government in Washington my Mother-in-law state, when they get nosey.
20:07 August 29, 2010 by letthemlive
It is good, on those predator butchers! Unfortunately, the damage already done. The hunters focused on alpha pairs, so that young wolves were just eight months and not learned to hunt properly yet, would seek to easily trapped animals, then hunters could use the law on preventive killing and shooting more than the lawful hunting allowed.
02:47 August 30, 2010 by americanska
1st - @ VicTaulic - Norway isn't in the EU.

2nd - doesn't everyone just love the EU - no policy decisions belong to the country - the EU wants a finger in everything,
11:16 August 30, 2010 by LeoKinmann
the licensed wolf hunt is ridiculous. to all of you who say wolves should be killed because they eat livestocks... remember human eat far more than the few dwindling wolf packs. i hate all those incompetent Swedish politicians who made such policy even possible.
14:48 August 30, 2010 by ColoradoSven50
It seems at though being an EU member means you lose your sovereignty. The same way we lose ours in the UN. Google up the stories on wolf reintroduction in Montana and how they have singlehandedly decimated Yellowstone's elk heard. Thimk. and hunt.
15:22 August 30, 2010 by calebian22

I grew up in Maine. The last official sighting of a mountain lion in Maine was 1938. There have been some random unofficial sightings since then (Hamden and Cape Elizabeth, for example), but to say Maine has mountain lions is a bit misleading. By 1900, the population had been pretty much been decimated.
11:27 October 2, 2010 by Picea
The Swedish government has given a comprehensive and detailed response.

It is on http://www.regeringen.se/sb/d/12703

Should anyone be interested in the governments comments on the questions raised they are there. Good that such documents are public and often easily obtained in Sweden.

It is basic that a body dealing with a complaint from one part asks for comments from the other on the critical issues and should not be overinterpreted.

Wolf in Sweden was extinct 30 years ago. Much effort has been spent on getting it to its present population size which was set as a goal by the parliament a decade ago. Much effort is spent now on improving its genetic status by a launched implantation program. Sweden tries hard!

If EU interfers in what can be regarded as rather small and controversial details of management it is likely that it will affect the Swedish opinion of EU negative, and it is not extremely positive currently.
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