Sweden's parliament has approved what could be the largest wolf massacre in modern human history. 75 specimens will be killed out of a total population of about 460. The recently approved number of 75 specimens would be just the beginning, as hunters' associations and the Swedish parliament would like to cull many more specimens.
As reported by the Swedish newspaper SVT Nyheter, a dozen areas in the five counties where populations are most numerous will be involved in wolf hunting, namely Gävleborg, Dalarna, Västmanland, Örebro and Värmland.
Guardian Marie Stegard, chair of the anti-hunting group Jaktkritikerna, explained: "It is obvious that there is strong political pressure for licensed hunting of wolves, but also of lynx and bear. There is a large majority of Swedes in who like wolves, even where they live.
In our opinion, the reason for this hunt is simply that there is a demand from hunters to shoot wolves. Hunting organizations have enormous power in Sweden. It is a fact that the Swedish parliament has a hunting club open to members of all parties, with a shooting gallery under the parliament.
Sounds like a joke, but it's absolutely true." WWF predator manager Benny Gäfwert said: "The numbers indicated by the Swedish parliament have not been established by any scientific organization. The 170 specimens aimed for are considered too few to maintain sufficient genetic variability among the population, and therefore good health of Scandinavian wolves in perspective." Gunnar Glöersen, head of predators at the Swedish Hunters' Association, said: "Hunting is absolutely necessary to slow down the growth of wolves.
The wolf pack is the largest we have had in modern times." Anna Caren Sätherberg, Swedish Minister for Rural Affairs, added: "We see the wolf population growing every year and with these cullings we want to make sure that we can achieve the target set by the parliament.
We can see that the level of conflict has increased and that the level of acceptance has gone down." The wolf present in the Scandinavian countries is the subspecies Canis lupus lupus, which is classified as critically endangered in Norway and critically endangered in Sweden.
The hunter lobby has a big influence on Swedish politicians, according to Swedish and Norwegian environmental associations. The environmental and animal rights associations of these Northern European countries accuse the lobbies of having pushed for the approval of this massacre.