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SE: Disappointment after information on wolf hunt

Roughly translated by TWIN Observer

22 wolves may be shot in this year’s license hunt. But neither animal rights associations nor hunters are satisfied with the decision – which will be appealed.

Martin Stockton Johansson

Five county councils in Svealand and southern Norway today decided on license hunting of a total of 22 wolves this winter.

The decision concerns two wolves in Örebro and in Gävleborg County. In Dalarna, Värmland and Västmanland counties have been licensed for six wolves each.

The Swedish Hunters Association is critical of the decision.

“We think it’s way too little. Shooting two wolves, which you have to do in certain areas, does nothing. If you want to reduce the pressure, you have to remove the entire turf, as you did in the previous license hunt. We think it is wrong to abandon the principle, “said Torbjörn Lövbom, chairman of the Hunter Federation’s predatory council.

Different calculation methods

Rebecca Nordenstam, environmental lawyer at the Swedish Society for Nature Conservation, said that the number was significantly lower than the record years 2015 and 2016 when the license hunt exceeded 40 wolves.

“But we are still worried. You have to keep in mind that this is only the license hunt, then the protection hunt and the illegal hunt that lasts all year,” she says.

The Swedish Environmental Protection Agency increased two years ago the minimum level for the wolf strain to 300 individuals. According to the winter’s inventory there are 355 wolves in Sweden, but there are divided sentences about how to count.

According to the current system, the number of family groups is multiplied by ten. The Nature Conservation Association, however, wants to change the system to follow the Scandinavian wolf research project Skandulv’s recommendations, where families are multiplied by 7.67.

With the calculus model, the Swedish wolf strain today had to fall below 300 individuals.

“If you count on the low factor, you should not shoot a single wolf really. There is a high risk that the population is below the status you want. It gives rise to injuries and eradication,” says Rebecca Nordenstam.

Can be appealed

The decision on the license hunt can be appealed to the Administrative Court in Luleå. Last year, a long appeal process followed the license hunting decision, where the Supreme Administrative Court did not shut down until three days before the hunt began.

Neither the Swedish Society of Nature Conservation nor the Hunters’ Association has decided if you intend to take the matter to court this year.

“We will decide if we will appeal, it is not impossible. But we would rather not have an appeals circus last, “says Torbjörn Lövbom.

“The Supreme Administrative Court has said that the license hunt is okay according to Swedish law based on the size of the wolf population in November 2015. It may be challenging to review the process again. But it is the federal federations that may decide,” says Rebecca Nordenstam.

However, the Swedish carnivore association has already decided to appeal.

“We have looked at this judgment from last winter and see important aspects that were not tested. The authorities pretend that the wolves are more than they are and uses numbers that include wolves that have already died for various reasons. Assuming the correct way, there are about 257 wolves in Sweden, “said Torbjörn Nilsson, chairman.

The license hunt may take place from 2 January to 15 February.