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Swedish hunters fail to fill wolf quota

AFP/The Local · 16 Feb 2011, 12:22

Published: 16 Feb 2011 12:22 GMT+01:00

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This year's hunt began in Sweden on January 15th and ended on Tuesday, with hunters permitted to shoot a maximum of 20 wolves across six regions.

"The hunt is now over in all regions," Anneli Nivren, press director of the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency (Naturvårdsverket) told AFP on Wednesday, adding one wolf had escaped the hunters.

By an hour after sundown Tuesday when the hunting season ended, only 19 animals had been culled.

"It's too bad. We would have have gladly taken it," Torbjörn Larsson, head of the hunters' association in the central Swedish region of Västmanland, told the TT news agency late on Tuesday.

Sweden argued that the hunt, which was reopened last year after a 46-year ban, allowed it to strengthen the gene pool of its largely inbred wolf population, insisting it will import wolves from Finland and Russia to replace the killed animals.

The hunt also enjoys support in rural Sweden, where the small wolf stock has grown over the past three decades and sheep and reindeer have increasingly come under attack.

The Swedish parliament decided in 2009 to keep wolf numbers at 210 animals, spread out in 20 packs, with 20 new pups per year.

In January, the European Commission launched legal action against Sweden for allowing the hunt of a protected species.

Story continues below…

It decided to open a formal infringement procedure, which could lead to a case before the European Court of Justice, which can impose hefty fines on EU states that violate the bloc's rules. According to the commission, some 6,700 hunters took part in this year's hunt.

The hunt is also controversial in Sweden. Earlier this month, protestors marched through central Stockholm carrying 20 coffins to symbolise the number of wolves in this year's hunting quota and nearly 8,000 people sent letters to Brussels to protest the hunt through a Swedish environmental group's website.

Last week, former French screen idol Brigitte Bardot, now an animal rights campaigner, also blasted the hunt as "retrograde" in a letter to Environment Minister Andreas Carlgren and urged a halt to the cull.

AFP/The Local (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

16:04 February 16, 2011 by SarahPalin
Perhaps proving that there are too few wolves left in the first place and that this damn hunt was not required at all?
16:58 February 16, 2011 by rohermoker
Here is the difference in hunting and killing, hunts do not always end with a kill. unlike going to the meatmarket to buy a chicken. There the kill comes first.
18:29 February 16, 2011 by buschmann
I live in northern Minnesota where we have 10 times as many wolfes than you have in Sweden, and in a smaller area! When I first read about the wolf hunt in Sweden I laughed. These critters are sneaky, usally come out only at night and are seldom seen by folks who spend a great deal of time in the outdoors. We have very little interest in hunting wolfes in Minnesota because it is not worth our time. A hunting season for wolfes would not be an effective means of controlling the wolf population. They are too hard to get a shot at , you can't eat them and their fur is not worth much.
21:11 February 16, 2011 by Twiceshy2
rohermoker let's not forget another difference, which is that killing a wolf in the wild might well leave pups orphan and kill them as well.
21:13 February 16, 2011 by wxman
They are pursued in Montana from time to time when there has been a rash of cattle kills. After having been reintroduced into the wild within the Yellowstone National Park 25 years ago, it was soon discovered that the wolf does not have a good grasp on the concept of park boundaries or private property rights. Go figure.
21:20 February 16, 2011 by buschmann
Farmers in Minnesota have the right to shoot wolfes when they threaten livestock. I think we all agree with that.
23:59 February 16, 2011 by jakah
hey guys i read this news so many times but i don't understand why its so big issue. could you plz tell me, why they gave permission for hunting.... is its meat so delicious, fur is so important or they just want to maintain a specific number....!!""
02:54 February 17, 2011 by GLO
They may have killed 19 of the best of the breed. What a shame on Sweden.
04:36 February 17, 2011 by buschmann
Hey jakah , it shouldn't be a big deal. Reducing the number of wolfes by 5% and introducing a few wolfes from finland or wherever to improve the genetics of the species is good management. Animal rights activists act out of emotion and are a hinderance to the implementation of sound conservation practices.
06:15 February 17, 2011 by Coolsitter
Minnesota is roughly 45,000 sq km in size and has around 3,000 wolves (last count 2005) with no serious wolfproblem at all. Sweden is around 450,000 sq km in size and is concerned that 220 wolves are too many. How will they solve the problem with introducing a finnish wolf to a swedish wolfpack?

Some swede in charge need to go to Yellowstone and learn about the rivalry and carnage that often occur between single individuals and a pack. Packmembers rarely accept any other wolf into it´s pack.

I guess these are the same people who has declared that the european visent (bison) is too dangerous to the public to wander free in Sweden.
08:51 February 17, 2011 by seagull
Personally I'd like to see a cull on wolf hunters.
13:05 February 17, 2011 by buschmann
The grey wolf "timber wolf" in north america has a very large continuous range, from Alaska down to the western great lakes states of Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan, and of course throughout most of Canada. Minnesota is the southern part of that range, but it has wolfes that come and go from Ontario and such. Wolfes in Sweden are Isolated from their Siberian kin. Wolfes can and have been successfully relocated, usually as a family unit.
19:57 February 17, 2011 by rohermoker
Twiceshy: I will be the fist to admit I'm not sure when the wollv'es pup in Sweden, but in Minnesota it is not until March or early April, and in northeast Minnesota they howl in Swenglish. In central and west Minnesota it is with either a Fnnish or Norweagen acent.

Also the state of minnesota? Total Area: 84068 square miles (217736 square kilometers - the 12th largest state)

Officials estimate the Minnesota gray wolf population is about 3000, 2010 est.
20:21 February 17, 2011 by buschmann
rohermoker: Yes you are right about the size of Minnesota, however the wolf inhabits only the northern region of the state, north eastern "arrowhead" region in particular. I live in the heart of Minnesota wolf country and it's very cool to hear them howling at night!!
21:01 February 17, 2011 by rohermoker
I have a cabin in the Moose lake aera, I have photos in my office from the trail cameras, and some chewed deer bones from recent kills I found on my land. but again the wolve's are of Swedish, and Finnesh ancestors.

Also in Minnesota the State kills 125 to 250 wolve''s a year that cause livestock damage farmers and land owners probaly kill that many also, though it is not legal, It may take several weeks to have a licensed proffesional wolf killer come to do what you can do today
21:08 February 17, 2011 by buschmann
I live in Duluth and have a cabin on pelican lake (ore M.N.) It is actually common to hear the howl right here in the city limits of Duluth.
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