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Sweden's wolf hunt heading to court: EU

TT/The Local/vt · 17 Jan 2011, 14:53

Published: 17 Jan 2011 14:53 GMT+01:00

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"I regret that Sweden has embarked on the licensed hunting of wolves without providing a clear answer to my letter sent on December 7th," Potocnik, who is responsible for the protection of endangered species, wrote in a statement on Monday.

He emphasised that the commission has called for an intensive dialogue with the Swedish government about the fact that, as the commission sees it, the hunt may be illegal in relation to EU law.

Now, he pointed out, there is nothing else to do but to take Sweden to court.

"The Swedish authorities' actions give me few other options than to propose to the EU Commission to start a formal proceeding against Sweden for breaching the EU's environmental laws," said Potocnik.

With the wolf hunt">wolf hunt in its third day on Monday, there are only five wolves left in this year's quota of 20: three in Värmland in western Sweden and one each in Örebro and Västmanland in central Sweden.

Over the first two days of the hunt, 14 wolves were killed by Monday. Among the wolves that have been killed, four were alpha animals, two of them marked.

Eleven were classified as adults and only three pups or juveniles. This does not correspond to the entire age composition of the wolf population.

"It sounds like a skewed distribution. It may be that the adult animals expose themselves more, but also that the hunt was consciously directed towards them," said Olof Liberg, coordinator of the Scandinavian wolf research project Skandulv.

"If the hunters shoot young animals, the adults are understandably left behind and can continue to reproduce. And then the hunters cannot let their dogs loose in the countryside," he added.

Even last year, there were clear signs that the shooting was lopsided. However, Liberg pointed out that the researchers took that into account that for this year's allocations.

Story continues below…

"In order to spare the number of alpha animals and secure at least 20 rejuvenations next year, we slowed the allotment overall," he said.

A shot was fired at a wolf in Västra Götaland this weekend, but after tracking, it was determined that the wolf was not hurt. The hunt will likely resume there.

TT/The Local/vt (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

15:26 January 17, 2011 by Gabin
Join The Wolf Army ...
15:35 January 17, 2011 by byke
Whats the point in having laws and forms of protection if Sweden doesnt abide by them?
15:38 January 17, 2011 by Mr-a
I suggest that Sweden sends a couple of packs to Brussels Central Park (if there is one). Finland has even more wolves. We could cover Berlin and Paris.
15:57 January 17, 2011 by Rishonim
Great EU. Take them to court and while you are at it, sue them for continuing with the systembolaget monopoly. This has no place in the 21st century.
16:37 January 17, 2011 by kcussmilsum
I hope the EU sues the pants off Sweden, it's been long overdue.

I'm quite sure the EU will win this lawsuit.
17:06 January 17, 2011 by Mr G
Yeah, but who ends up paying for all this, tax payers obviously!
17:18 January 17, 2011 by soultraveler3
I hope the EU takes them to court and wins. There's no reason that wolves need to be hunted in Sweden. It's long past time that Sweden catch up with the rest of western civilization and recognize animal rights.
17:30 January 17, 2011 by bas
Just send those Swedes to Tunisia....
17:49 January 17, 2011 by dammen
Sweden never abides by its own laws

the wolf hunt is a disgrace - we live in the forest in an area where wolves are supposed to live - but never seen hide nor hair of one - we have more trouble with the lynx attacking the deer in our garden - not a pretty site for young children though

the hunt last year was disastrous but his year with another bout - it makes you wonder what is the logic behind this senseless act

all hunting should be banned

apart from the personal side (fed up with trespassers with guns who can shoot over our property by law) - there is no sense in trying to deliberately destroy something that is natural - reflects the nature of modern society and often reflects int eh way other humans are treated - as vermin
19:29 January 17, 2011 by Investor612
Just another example of a country surrendering its sovereignty to a larger, distant organization. I'm sure Sweden has sufficient educated wildlife management professionals to effectively utilize hunting seasons to keep animal populations at levels best for the health of the species and the habitat/prey species.
19:41 January 17, 2011 by superturbo
Who gives a damn about what people in Brussles thinks about this issue? They don't live here so this does not concern the EU at all....
21:29 January 17, 2011 by Garry Jones
Wolves are dangerous. I think 100% should be shot with sleeping darts and placed in fenced off areas several square km large.
22:07 January 17, 2011 by Scots
Brussels Central Park???? good thing ignorance doesnt kill or many people on this website would be dead...sometimes you actually should get out of your precious Sweden to see what else there is in the world, wouldnt make you dumber...

Yeah send those hunters to Tunisia, would serve them right to be treated the way their fellows boar hunters were treated!!!!
22:10 January 17, 2011 by Thorfinna
Lol Brussels Central Park, funny little swede that you are...;)

Poor wolves, do you imagine being hunted down like that?? put yourself in their "shoes" if I may say so....how scary it must be, how painful, poor creatures such as any other creatures that get hunted and killed anyway!!! Hunting should be prohibited....

Cant we go hunt those hunters??? that might actually be fun to give them a taste of their own medicine...
22:43 January 17, 2011 by Smiling Canuk
Garry Jones, you obviously know absolutely nothing about wolves and probably think the story of litte red riding hood is a documentary. I've seen them in the wild and have come very close to them. They are very timid animals unless directly threatened.

Sweden has under 300 wolves and they feel there is need for a cull. What a joke. Considering we have over a quarter million wolves in Canada, you can appreciate my amusement over European concepts of "wilderness".
00:13 January 18, 2011 by saar
Smiling Canuk, just for you to know,Canada is 20 times bigger than Sweden, so no wonder there are more wolves in Canada. Also, according to this website -


and this one -


there are 50.000 - 60.000 wolves in Canada. Where are the other 200.000?
02:24 January 18, 2011 by expatjourno
People who take pleasure in killing animals for sport are disgusting. They are mostly men who are insecure about their masculinity, probably because they have teeny-tiny penises.
04:31 January 18, 2011 by Smiling Canuk

The figure I quoted is based on wolves, coyotes, wolf-coyote hybrids and interbreds with wild dogs. Coyotes are a large number of this but guestimates for purebreed wolves in Canada range from 50-100,000 depending upon who you wish to believe.

Point is they are not particularly dangerous animals to humans. They get blamed for attacks on domestic farm stock but often its coyotes or wild dogs, not wolves.

If Canada is 20 times bigger than Sweden we'd only have 6,000 wolves based upon this ratio. I'm sure a country the size of sweden can handle 300 wolves without needing to resort to a cull.
05:25 January 18, 2011 by dwb5555
I always enjoy comments by people who have not study the issue. Now I can't say what they are doing is right or wrong because I have not study the issue. But we do have people in the government that are making the decision which have been educated for this job. So unless you know what your talking about keep your comments to your self.
09:04 January 18, 2011 by engagebrain
The government's argument is that hunting will increase genetic diversity by eliminating poor genes.

This presupposes that the animals shot are somehow genetically weaker or that a kill creates a niche for a new animal to start breeding. The required evidence would be genetic screens of the shot animals - does this happen - I think not.

In the real world competition between wolves will sort of any genetic problems. Oddly the government does not suggest that shooting any other endangered specie would prove beneficial.

Deep in the background is Sweden's human steriilzation program - one of the dirty little secrets that we don't discuss - no evidence that this improve dthe gene pool.
09:30 January 18, 2011 by saar
Canuk,ok, wolves should not be killed. Why don't you start with Canada then? I mean, according to Wiki there are thousands of wolves killed in Canada each year. 5000-6000 actually, including Alaska though. 15% of the total population. Coyotes, wolf-coyote hybrids and interbreds with wild dogs are not included. With all the others who knows how many are killed. There is something for you to do in your own country. When you sorted that out then you can start teaching people in other countries.

As about the ratio, just for you to know - population density i Canada - 3.5 people per sq.km,

Sweden - 20.5 people per sq.km. So 6000 wolves might not fit in Sweden. Don't you think?
18:19 January 18, 2011 by fritton
The Swedish authorities should tell Potocnik that it will stop shooting wolves when the EU stops unnecessarily killing millions of fish every day under its absurd policy of forcing fishermen to throw back half their catch into the sea - dead. That is if he (or possibly she) is really interested in the environment, which I doubt, probably just a political time server at the Brussels feeding trough. Those that want to complain to the EU use this link.

21:30 January 18, 2011 by steve_38
Hunters = Sick retards.

Nature generally finds its balance in life.

Most animals like this they are timid and more livestock will be killed by domestic dogs than by wolves.

I remember seeing an programme on TV recently that when the Pride leader in a Lion pride was killed the ensuing fights between male lions would end up with on average 25 lions being killed (male lions always kill the cubs of a predessesor). I wonder what happend to a wof pack when the Alpha male is killed ???.

I see more deer in the UK than in Sweden yet the UK is far more populated than in Sweden
07:41 January 19, 2011 by skippadoodoo
Killing any animal as part of a "management" or "conservation" plan is immoral, unethical, inhumane, brutal and barbaric. The EU needs to hold Sweden accountable for a "management" plan that is COMPLETELY lacking in science.
15:56 January 21, 2011 by budpg
In the US the typical hunter is always whining about decimated game herds, but this comes from people that like to hunt their game from the back of their pickup truck in between beer burps. taking collared alpha animals from their packs is irresponsible, but hey, why would politicians that make these decisions care about science when they have to cater to these deranged vodka swilling hunters that masquarade as conservationists- that's a good one
17:03 January 21, 2011 by rohermoker
I live in a part of Minnesote that has quite a few wolfs, and we are woorking on a plan to de list the timber Wolf and alow the hunting to control the population. I always get quite a kick form those who scream how we need to devolop a "nonvoilent socity" and then call for the killing of humans in a socity who claims that the judgment of somone who may enjoy the exploitiation of its population for sexual reasons is imoral. It is time that Sweden restablish it's nutrality.
18:24 January 21, 2011 by budpg
And as you can see most of our hunters are illiterate embeciles. It's wolves not wolfs Mr Minnesota
18:40 January 21, 2011 by rohermoker
ECC 9: 17 The words of wise men are heard in quiet more than the cry of him that ruleth among fools.
12:18 January 22, 2011 by Robert Savosnick
Most opinion's have been expressed in earlier posts, I tend to go along with the group who say to hell with Brussels and their interfering bureaucratic clap trap. With judicious culling the wolves will always survive and will never be in danger of extinction on the proviso that there is enough food for them a balance should alway be maintained if you live in such a regulated environement.

How long ago were Wolves re-introduced? or were they always there? with the answer to either question I do not see that there will be a danger of their extinction as long as the packs are varied enough to keep the gene pool fresh. I would have thought a problem may arise when they are allowed to breed indiscriminatly,

Brussels should rather spend their time and your money on matters which they know something about. like sharpening pencils and keeping the desk tops clean.
15:31 January 22, 2011 by budpg
You can't figure out the plural of wolf and you are calling me a fool?
22:14 January 26, 2011 by rohermoker
Budpg: Im so soorry I cannot see over my thick brow, and the way my knuckles drag when I walk makes it hard to type. My type are never allowed into universiity :-(
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