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Sweden halts licensed wolf hunt

TT/Rebecca Martin · 18 Aug 2011, 10:48

Published: 18 Aug 2011 10:48 GMT+02:00

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According to minister for the environment Andreas Carlgren the government found themselves with no better option than to halt the hunt this year.

However, the government hopes to resumed the hunt in the winter 2012-2013.

At the same time, the government scrapped the ceiling of 210 wolves, previously set by the Riksdag, that can be culled annually for wildlife management purposes, in order to stop cantankerous carnivores from attacking livestock.

However, according to Carlgren, this does not mean that an unlimited number of wolves will be culled in Sweden.

“Of course not. We will reach a favourable conservation status with as few wolves culled as possible,” he said to news agency TT on Wednesday.

The expanded culling allowance will be based on safety considerations including attacks on livestock or a growing danger to people living in wolf inhabited areas.

The decision also follows a recent report, which showed that illegal poaching accounts for over half of all deaths of Swedish wolves.

The study, carried out by amongst others researchers at the Swedish University for Agricultural Sciences (Sveriges Lantbruksuniversitet - SLU), showed that despite facing an impending prison sentence if caught poaching, there are large numbers of people who wouldn’t hesitate to take a shot at a wolf.

But this is not the only threat to the wolf population of Sweden, which consists solely of descendants to a few migratory Finnish wolves which moved into empty territories left behind when Swedish wolves went extinct in the 1970s, and is highly inbred.

As a result, many of the wolves found in Sweden today suffer from both skeletal abnormalities and reproduction problems.

However, rhe minister couldn’t answer how the new rules will affect the wolf population of Sweden.

“I don’t want to speculate,” Carlgren said.

He said that the government would present a new target for the wolf population in Sweden next year.

Carlgren stressed that the changes clubbed through by the government are necessary for Sweden to keep the decision-making authority on the Swedish wolf hunt.

Story continues below…

A continued struggle with the EU commission on the licensed hunt would have risked being drawn out for several years before being settled, said Carlgren,

He thinks that the commission has acted both rashly and rigidly in its dispute with Sweden regarding the hunt.

According to the minister, policy decisions should be taken as close to the people affected as possible, and therefore he thinks that the commission’s actions in this matter have been unfortunate

“Sweden’s policy on predators must be carried out with great consideration and respect for those that take the consequences of living near predators, that is the local population,” Carlgren told TT.

TT/Rebecca Martin (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

11:35 August 18, 2011 by Twiceshy
Did we really need the shocking picture in the front page?
14:24 August 18, 2011 by Uggla
Yes! Awesome news, too bad they are talking about it for 2013.
15:32 August 18, 2011 by skumdum
They should catch 20 to 30 wolves alive and release them in the outskirts of Brussels. Then we could start talking predator conservation with the EU like adults.
15:52 August 18, 2011 by Abe L
I really fail to see how the EU has any business over hunting policy in Sweden. There are good reasons for hunting various kinds of wildlife. Wether it's to keep a population to the right size so it says harmless to humans or wether it's to put food in the fridge. These things should really be up to the local country's government and given the fact hunting is and has been a tradition in Sweden for centuries, there is no reason to halt it. A lot of people enjoy it.
17:00 August 18, 2011 by Smiling Canuk
This burns my ass, especially since I saw a wolf in the wild only a few weeks ago. They are beautiful animals and people should stop fearing them and above all should stop hunting them. We have an estimated 100,000 wolves in Canada. Granted, Canada is a much bigger country than Sweden, but don't tell me that Sweden can only accomodate 210 wolves. Pathetic.
17:49 August 18, 2011 by Uggla
Oh you old wolf hating farts. Sorry boys but this time you are out of the chance to hunt down an awesome animal just to get your kicks.

Wolves are not the enemy you hunters are!
18:13 August 18, 2011 by skumdum
It really doesn't matter what Stockholm says. People will hunt them anyway, like they did before the licensed hunting. The only reason licensed hunting was introduced was to stop the wide spread poaching.
22:12 August 18, 2011 by reality22
I feel sorry for the ranchers ..... this animal will never live well around people. PERIOD! No wonder the EU is financially bankrupt! The environmental obstructionist need to put up or shut up!
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