Swedish wolf hunt to be reported to EU-commission

Från DN 10-01-02(scroll down for info in English)
Naturskyddsföreningen har beslutat anmäla svenska staten till EU-kommissionen med anledning av lördagens vargjakt.

– Som väntat gick det över styr. Trots att man kan ha skjutit för många djur i vissa län fortsätter jakten i andra, säger ordförande Mikael Karlsson till DN.se.

I hans ögon är vargjakten en uppvisning på medeltida beteende:

– Man släpper ut 12.000 jägare med blodad tand som alla vill ha ett vargskinn på väggen. När bara 27 djur får skjutas. Det är en hetsjakt på varg.

Enligt Mikael Karlsson är vargstammen akut hotad av utrotning; ett av de mest hotade däggdjuren i Sverige, konstaterar han.

– För att jakt ska tillåtas krävs en så kallad ”gynnsam bevarande status”, alltså att vargstammen är livskraftig. Det vet regeringen inte om den är. Det säger sig självt att 210 individer inte räcker.

Politikerna har, enligt Mikael Karlsson, gett efter för små men bullriga särintressen. Och nu anmäler alltså Naturskyddsföreningen jakten till EU-kommissionen.

– Förhoppningen är naturligtvis en fällande dom. Vi har varnat för det här – jag skäms. Det är tragiskt och det hotar vargstammen. Och det är pinsamt för svensk naturvård som varit ledande sedan 60-talet.

– Tyvärr räddar en eventuellt fällande dom inte de djur som skjuts i dag.

Here’s the decision that led to this:
AFP – A total of 27 wolves can be killed next year in Sweden’s first wolf hunt in 45 years following a decision by the country’s parliament to limit their number, authorities said Thursday.

“The Swedish Environmental Protection Agency has decided that 27 wolves can be hunted during the period January 2 to February 15. That represents about 10 percent of the wolf population,” it said in a statement.

Parliament decided in October to limit the wolf population to 210 animals for the next five years.

This is to be done by issuing hunting permits in five regions where wolves have reproduced every year for the past three years.

Nine wolves can thus be hunted in the Dalarna and Värmland counties each, and three in each of the Västra Götaland, Örebro and Gävleborg counties.

Parliament’s decision is aimed at increasing public acceptance of the predators.

The animal’s presence is controversial in the Nordic country as domestic and farm animals are increasingly attacked by wolves, which have been sighted recently near residential areas, including near the capital Stockholm.

Wolves almost became extinct in Sweden in the 1970s but their number has increased steadily since efforts were made to reintroduce the animal to the country.

There were between 182 and 217 wolves in Sweden last winter, the Environmental Protection Agency said, noting that new litters had been born since then.

The Swedish Association for Hunting and Wildlife Management hailed the decision.

“Finally we have a decision that demonstrates an increased understanding for those who have to cope with wolves in their everyday lives. This is going to reduce frustration over the management of wolves in the countryside,” it said.

More than 10,000 hunters have already applied to the Environmental Protection Agency for a permit to hunt wolves, it added.

But the Swedish Society for Nature Conservation (SSNC) expressed disappointment and said the wolf hunt violated European Union legislation on species and habitats.

“This could severely worsen the situation for the small, inbred Swedish-Norwegian wolf population, and there is also a big risk that the quota will be exceeded since there is so much interest in the wolf hunt,” it lamented.

“Instead of launching an illegal hunt that worsens the situation for a severely threatened species, the government should increase efforts to prevent the damage the wolves cause to domesticated and farm animals,” SSNC chairman Mikael Nilsson said.

However, the hunt (today, Saturday 2/1-2010)was apparently directed without coordination between the different counties and in Dalarna at least, the quota may have been overridden by five killings.
The Swedish Society for Nature Conservation will now report the Swedish government to the EU-commission.

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