ANIMAL campaigners have blasted Norway’s department for wildlife after it sanctioned the death of 70 per cent of the country’s wolf population.
By LIZZIE STROMME
The Scandinavian country’s decision to exterminate 47 of the predators this year, when it only has a wolf population of 65-68 animals, was revealed on Friday.
It has been meet with massive protests from animal and environmental campaigners, who have condemned the decision and branded it as a “massacre”.
Silje Lundberg, the interim leader of Naturvernforbundet, Norway’s largest environmental organisation, slammed the decision as she added it was setting the country back more than 150 years.
She told the Express.co.uk: “It is unbelievable that the department with open eyes can decide to shoot 47 wolves of a population of just 65-68 animals.
“It is terrifying that such most extremist attitudes are dictating [Norway’s] wildlife politics.”
Three wolf packs, including small pups, will be shot over the winter despite the fact the predators are not a threat to humans.
One of the packs which will be put down with the blessing of the wildlife department settled down in Letjenna, South West Norway during the winter 2011/2012 and it has not attacked a single farming animal in that time.
Live stock in Norway are let out into fields without any supervision and any missing farming animals are automatically blamed on the local wolf packs.
Ms Lundberg added it was disgraceful that a critically endangered species was being hunted, rather than protected.
She said: “The wolf population is already very small and critically endangered. To eradicate 70 per cent of such a vulnerable species is shocking.
“This is like the extermination policy Norway implemented 170 years ago.”
The general secretary of WWF Norway also condemned the decision as a massacre.
Nina Jensen said: “This is a slaughter. We haven’t seen anything like this for almost 100 years, when the policy was that all big predators should be exterminated.
“To shoot 70 per cent of the wolf population is not worthy of a environmental nation.”