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Swedish wolf hunt put on hold after protests

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Swedish wolf hunt put on hold after protests
Photo: TT
09:24 CET+01:00
The plan to cull eight wolves in the county of Dalarna in central Sweden has been halted following legal challenges from animal conservation groups.

The decision by the County Administrative board to allow the cull of eight animals in the country was appealed by the Swedish Society for Nature Conservation (Naturskyddsföreningen - SSNC), the Swedish Carnivore Association (SCA) and the WWF.

"This means that there will be no hunt starting on January 9th," said Gunilla Skotnicka Ewing at the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency (Naturvårdsverket) to the local Dalarnas Tidningar daily.

The matter will be settled in a meeting on January 12th at the earliest. The agency has meanwhile rejected appeals against planned hunts in Värmland and Örebro, where authorities cleared the way in November for 24 and 12 animals to be shot respectively. 

There are around 370 wolves in Sweden and the minimum figure for a sustainable population has been fixed at 270.

The Swedish Society for Nature Conservation (Naturskyddsföreningen - SSNC) was quick to condemn the decisions.

"It is clear that it was highly inappropriate that the hunt decisions were moved to the county administrative boards given how strong the pressure may be locally," said SNCC lawyer Oscar Alaric in a statement at the time.

The Swedish WWF furthermore warned of serious inconsistencies in Swedish wildlife policy.
 
Parties within the governing coalition are also at odds over how best to balance the various interests with regards to the wolf population.
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