Wolf hunting, which was allowed last year in Sweden, will be temporarily halted following a threat of legal action from the European Union.
According to Swedish Environmental Minister Andreas Carlgren, the government has decided to put a stop to its licensed wolf hunts, which it allowed last year for the first time in 45 years.
Carlgren, in a news conference, indicated that the “temporary halt” was to “ensure that Sweden does not lose the right to decide on its own wolf population,” the International Business Times reported.
Despite the issue of illegal poaching, two licensed wolf hunts, one in 2010 and one in 2011, were conducted in Sweden.
That moved by the Sweden government caught the attention of the EU.
According to EU Environment Commissioner Janez Potecnik, it was a violation of an EU directive.
Wolf hunting, in general, has been in practice in many countries for thousands of year. These animals are mainly hunted for sport, for their skin, to protect livestock, and, in some rare cases, to protect humans.
The wolf population in Sweden went extinct in the 1970s.
About ten years after it went extinct, the Swedish wolves recolonized from Finland, with an estimated 250 having descended from that batch.
Meanwhile, this year’s licensed wolf hunt in Sweden ended with 19 wolves shot out of the quota of 20.
Despite succumbing to the EU’s pressure, the Swedish government indicated that it will still look into controlled hunting of “problem wolves, according to Carlgren.
ESTOY CONTENTA . ALGO ES ALGO . MUCHOS LOBOS SE SALVARAN
EU interfers in the policy of Sweden. The Swedish wolfpolicy has support from 80% of the parliament and Sweden believes Sweden follows the EU-rules, but of course it may be a matter of interpretation. The reason to control the wolf number by licenced hunt open to the public is the hope that it would make the presence of wolf more accepted. A major problem with wolf is to get acceptance by the people living close to the wolf. The parliament decision is only valid till 2012 and would anyway be discussed soon. But now the government “forgets” it a year earlier to please EU, rather than enter into a legal process, which is predicted to take years.
The EU commission has the right to get the Swedish actions tested by the EU court. But the question is if it is wise to interfer in a lot of details, to invest much pressure and energy, and what the end result will be. Finland went through a similar process some years ago, Finland was sentenced on a minor point of those raised. Since when the number of wolves in Finland (which is similar to that in Sweden) has decreased because of uncontrolled illegal poaching. Fears have been raised that something similar may happen in Sweden.