Swedish wolf hunt ends in criticism

Swedish WolfThe Swedish government remains under fire from ecologists following the end of the country’s first official wolf hunt in 45 years. The hunt ended last Tuesday after the quota of 27 wolves was met by hunters in just four days, drawing widespread criticism from those opposed to the cull.

Anonymous death threats were made to several of the hunters who were involved in the first parliamentary-sanctioned wolf hunt since 1964; after a decision was made last October to limit to just 210 the country’s wolf population.

The Local reports that the hunt was scheduled to run for six weeks from January 2nd but caused major condemnation after 20 wolves were killed on the first day.

“I think the hunt was carried out very quickly, there were too many kills all at once,” claimed environmentalist Stig-Ake Svenson, whose Dalarna region saw one more than the allotted 9 wolves killed. “And across the entire country, seven wolves were first wounded before they were killed, and that’s a very high number. These are problems that need to be investigated ahead of a possible wolf hunt next year,” he added.

A total of 12,000 hunters were granted permission to kill just 27 wolves, a hugely disproportionate figure according to opponents of the cull. The Swedish Society for Nature Conservation (SSNC) chief Mikael Karlsson had lodged a complaint over the hunt with the European Commission.

“The hunt was totally out of control, the quota was even exceeded in Dalarna, and thousands of hunters were allowed to take part in the kill,” said Karlsson. “This hunt was aimed at pleasing the loudmouthed hunters who have been calling for a wolf hunt for years.”

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