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Swedish wolf import plan hits Finnish hurdle

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Swedish wolf import plan hits Finnish hurdle
08:20 CET+01:00
Sweden's plan to replenish its wolf population with pups imported from its neighbours has met resistance from Finland.

The Swedish government has announced plans to boost the domestic wolf population by importing wolf pups in Sweden, but has run into immediate problems - Finland is reluctant to give up any of their wolf pups to Sweden, reported Sveriges Radio's Ekot.

"From the Finnish perspective, we think that one should not move the wolf pups at all, any year," said Pentti Lähteenoja, chief director at the Finnish Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry to Ekot.

One reason given is that the wolf population in Finland is small.

Sweden's decision to allowing the hunting of wolves has come under criticism from the European Commission for violating European Union environmental laws.

The Local reported in January that the commission had formally reported Sweden.

At the same time, Swedish environment minister Andreas Carlgren unveiled plans for strengthening the Swedish wolf pack by introducing new wolves.

“We're now taking a collective step in order to get viable wolves,” Carlgren told reporters in Stockholm.

According to Carlgren, decisions to add new wolves will be taken locally. He added that Sweden also plans to continue with a licenced wolf hunt.

“This isn't coming as an answer to the Commission's questions,” he said.

Sweden plans to introduce new wolf pups to the country's existing wolf population starting in April.

“One or a few adults wolves will be moved later this year or next year, but that will only happen after they've been under close observation and have undergone a thorough examination by veterinarians,” said Carlgren.

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