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Sweden announces new wolf hunt limits

AFP/The Local · 17 Dec 2010, 14:07

Published: 17 Dec 2010 14:07 GMT+01:00

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The Swedish Environmental Protection Agency said that from January 15th to February 15th, 2011, licensed hunters will be permitted to shoot 20 wolves, down from the quota of 27 animals this year.

The Swedish parliament decided last year to limit the wolf population to 210 animals, spread out in 20 packs, with 20 new pups per year, for a period of five years by issuing hunting permits in regions where wolves have recently reproduced.

That number still stands.

It was important to keep the quota low "to not strain the population more than necessary to reach the parliament's target," agency chief Maria Ågren said in a statement.

This year's hunt, when all 27 wolves were killed in just the first four days of the season, was the first since 1964.

The hunt was blasted by ecologists as rushed, cruel and lacking coordination, as some 12,000 hunters had been granted permits to kill the 27 animals.

Environmental group WWF also strongly criticised Friday's decision, insisting it "lacks a scientific basis" and maintained that the hunt was "random" and risked killing off "a large number of genetically valuable animals."

"It is surprising that the wolf hunt will be permitted," Tom Arnbom, head of WWF's predator division, wrote in a statement, insisting the hunt would do little to improve the problems posed by inbreeding within the Swedish wolf population.

"Today the government has decided in favour of a widespread hunt, but without providing any suggestions of how the wolf population should be strengthened genetically," he said.

However, Monica Eriksson of the environmental protection agency insisted there was nothing random about the hunt to AFP.

She pointed out that in areas known to have "immigrant" wolves or their offspring, and thus with new genes, "no hunting permits have been given."

Story continues below…

The Green Party also lashed out at Friday's decision, pointing out that the European Commission had not yet concluded a probe into the legality of the hunt.

"Now the commission might pull Sweden before the EU court at the end of January at the same time as a new group of wolves is being killed in the Swedish forests," Green MP Åsa Romson said in a statement.

Meanwhile, Eriksson said there was no indication when the commission would reach its decision, adding that until it does, "the hunt will go ahead."

AFP/The Local (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

16:40 December 17, 2010 by eZee.se

I hope a few of the hunters "accidentally" shoot each other in the face (Cheney style) while hunting these poor animals.
17:42 December 17, 2010 by Liquidmonkey
first off, lets stop calling it hunting, cause its not.

its called slaughter! any so-called hunter who thinks otherwise is living in a world of delusion.

second, what is the big deal with the wolves? it is their land, along with all the other animals. people came AFTER the wolves so why not start making them learn to live with the wolves, rather than go around and slaughtering them? i understand that there needs to be balance but 210 wolves?!?!!? really?

hardly balanced.

thirdly, i hope that a few of you hunters freeze your fingers off while waiting to slaughter these poor animals or hey, maybe x-mas comes early next year and a wolf kills the hunter first :)
17:53 December 17, 2010 by Gamla Hälsingebock
Hunt and shoot politicians, not wolves!
18:30 December 17, 2010 by eZee.se
@Gamla Hälsingebock - a beautiful (and well deserved) idea. ;)

Unfortunately politicians usually start as lawyers and have thus covered their behinds by making your idea illegal.

A lot of lawyers/politicians are scum (as examples I give you the lawyers/politicians working for the film and music industries) but stupid... they are not in covering their own stinky backsides.
19:02 December 17, 2010 by Tennin
Truely disgusting that they're allowed to murder off wolves again. Sweden has such a small wolf population that it's insane to give people permission to murder them.
19:37 December 17, 2010 by GLO
Sad day for wildlife. Sorry, no reason makes any good purpose from this. Sad....
20:00 December 17, 2010 by Tanskalainen
What about wolves dressed like Grandma?
20:24 December 17, 2010 by Redbee
Fancy allowing so called hunters carte blanche to slaughter wolves from a small population .Beware ,the last wolf to be killed in Britain was about 1743 in Scotland , Monica Eriksson is no lover of Swedish wild life ,shame on her.
20:38 December 17, 2010 by BERTRAM
Support the Wolf Army................
21:56 December 17, 2010 by eZee.se
I say we need a mad scientist... one who will be able to attach guns onto wolves biologically and train them on how to aim, reload and shoot.

Once the animals can shoot back: then we can call it a "sport"

till then its nothing but a slaughter of poor defenseless creatures by a bunch of self entitled illiterate inbred morons.
22:54 December 17, 2010 by Smiling Canuk
Excuse me for smiling when this forum talks about the Swedish "wilderness". 210 wolfs and they need a cull!! LOL!!! We have an estimated 400,000 here in Canada. In fact my brother had some coyotes howling on his property the other night. Its all a matter of perspective I suppose.
23:57 December 17, 2010 by asrosie
Don't worry, we wolves are well prepared and have been secretly accumulating weapons since 1946 and distributing them to our brother and sister wolves. Soon the time for revolution will be at hand, then we will be hunting you.

Yours Faithfully.

I.M Wolfe, Commander in Chief, Northern Wolf Army.

P.S. Can you please stop inferring we eat grandmothers, unlike you humans we respect the elderly.

But all jokes aside. If it's a cull, shouldn't you just have a few licensed shooters rather than issuing permits for 12,000? Sounds a bit disorganized to me. you can also send unwanted wolves over here to Scotland, then the Scots will really have something to complain about, besides the weather and the English and I always had a soft spot for wolves, bears and foxes.
00:40 December 18, 2010 by Great Scott
To the Local

A message to the Local If we cannot comment on it, DO NOT PRINT IT
05:43 December 18, 2010 by UScitizen
To Great Scott:

Censorship, NOT freedom of speech, is alive and well in Sweden.
07:45 December 18, 2010 by choppie
I will not be surprised when after the first two years allowing this "sport" all the the HUGH 210 population is gone. What are they thinking? To me 210 wolves seem like they need to be protected, not hunted down!

I think that at the start of the hunting season, people should dress in their brightest colors, grab anything that makes a lot of noise, even a pot with a spoon, and go to the woods and organize a ... picnic, yeah that's it, a picnic! Keep the party going until the end of hunting season. If I were not house bound I would love to do it! Even if it saved just one of these beautiful creatures.

Such a sad day for Sweden, a country that prides itself on everything green...
07:48 December 18, 2010 by OnessOfMankind
Now even wolves are called immigrants and should report to migrations verket to be treated like immigrants..

MY God even animals need visas they cant wander freely in God nature...They group them and their genes they have a Gods given right to level people and animals...

Why dont you export these wolves and let the hunter shoot some toys if they are so excited to shoot something and feel like some action adventure movie on a wolf.
08:55 December 18, 2010 by jamtlandtom
A bit of balance for our Canadian readers:

Canada, 10 million sq.kms - 55-60,000 Wolves(NOT 400,000!!) Pop.density; 3.4 per sq.km.(human)

Sweden, 500,000 sq.kms - 210 wolves

Pop. density; 20.6 per sq.km.
10:36 December 18, 2010 by Soft Boiled
If you really "need" to control the wolf population then use sleeping darts, sort the bad DNA from the good and euthanize the sick and the lame ones. BUT this isnt about controlling or sorting the wolf population, Its about trophy hunting and having a wolf pelt hanging on your wall.

This is just another example where a goverment defies logic and reason and turns deaf ears to any objections. Well im going to take a look on Facebook and see if i can join a protest group.
11:17 December 18, 2010 by seagull
You have to be a special sort of sick to shoot a wolf when the population is so low. I hope everyone who does so gets their details made public.
11:20 December 18, 2010 by Hogwash
I love Sweden, particularly the scenery and wildlife but the wolf cull is a disgrace. Sweden likes to portray itself as a green and eco-friendly nation but this destroys that myth.

Compare Sweden to Spain. Spain is not exactly well known for its animal welfare record but it has 1,500 wolves (approx - the true number could be between 1,000 and 3,000). This amounts to 1 wolf per 337 sq km compared to a figure of 1 wolf per 2,143 for Sweden. It also amounts to 1 wolf per 30,000 people compared to 1 wolf per 44,000 people in Sweden.

Surely as a leading 'green' nation, Sweden should be setting the example to the rest of us!
13:29 December 18, 2010 by Jaffo1970
UH, Ever ask the rest of the wildlife what they think about culling the wolves. Each wolf brutally murders and eats hundreds of rabbits, rodents, even harmless young deer. They murder sheep and goats too. I say let's put these terrorists on trial and sentence them all to death.
15:20 December 18, 2010 by Sithaigh
This is pathetic on so many levels.

The wolf deserves to live in peace. If anything we should be helping the population grow not the opposite. THere are enough of problems there with inbreeding. Who in their right mind would shot these fantastic creatures.

The population is a couple of hundred, not thousand.

There are no excuses, the is vast amount of land in which 100's of the wolves should be allowed flourish in number.

I bet if nature reserves were set up, it would end up becoming an important tourist attraction of the North, who know it might help conserve the breed also.
00:23 December 19, 2010 by Liquidmonkey
21 wolves to shoot.

12,000 hunter licenses to give out.

how many will not report that they shot a wolf?
01:13 December 19, 2010 by Njal
Leave the wolves alone.
07:34 December 20, 2010 by flintis
A disgrace, can't see how they can call it hunting they know where most of the wolves are so they don't have to hunt them. Just downright wanton slaughter. We've ( inhabitants) have got enough space to roam, let the animals be unless they become a threat to human life, then capture them a send'em to Longleat.
22:39 December 30, 2010 by landofthesheeple
What a waste of ammo... There are other dangerous animals to deal with in Sweden.

I don't recall the last time a Wolf blew it self up in the middle of Stockholm, unless it was a mentally insane of course : -) lol
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