Swedish hunters were given the go-ahead to hunt 36 wolves and at the beginning of this week already 28 had been shot. In addition, county Dalarna has decided for an additional seven wolves to be culled starting 24 January. So, all in all 43 wolves might be killed which is more than 10% of the population.
“This news is a setback, because by the time the case would be heard by a higher court, this season’s hunt for wolves will have already ended. But what is most disturbing is that these wolves are endangered according to EU nature laws. The decision to cull them in Sweden is therefore not based on science; it breaks laws and is therefore illegal. We call on the European Commission to ensure that Sweden puts a stop to this in the future”, says Tony Long, Director WWF European Policy Office.
The wolf is protected by EU law but rooted in prejudice a rising tide of hostility is encouraging some politicians to push to kill it. France approved a cull of up to 40 wolves following protests last year. When Germany’s wolf population red wolf 60 packs, its agriculture minister recently argued that numbers must be regulated by culling. Finland has culled its wolf population down to 150, and this winter Norway is slaughtering about half of its wolf population of less than 100 animals.
This winter Belgium recorded its first wild wolf in more than a century, marking the return of the animal across continental Europe after decades of absence. Over-hunting, the clearing of forests and urban sprawl caused wolf disappearance from most of Western Europe since the beginning of the XX century. Romania is one of the European countries where the wolf never disappeared, but while it kept a territory here, its presence is not without challenges, Romanian Insider reports.