Nor­way slashes wolf hunt­ing quota

Kuwait Times - - HEALTH & SCIENCE -

Nor­way yes­ter­day slashed its hunt­ing quota for wolves from 47 to 15 in a de­ci­sion hailed as the “best Christmas gift” by environmental cam­paign­ers who feared a mass slaugh­ter. Re­gional author­i­ties had au­tho­rized in Septem­ber the culling of 47 wolves, fu­elling an out­cry among ac­tivists who protested that the an­i­mals are threat­ened with ex­tinc­tion in the Scan­di­na­vian coun­try. Rov­data, a Nor­we­gian agency which mon­i­tors preda­tors, recorded be­tween 65 and 68 wolves in the coun­try last win­ter and at least 25 oth­ers in re­gions bor­der­ing Swe­den.

The en­vi­ron­ment min­istry con­cluded that the slaugh­ter of four packs to­tal­ing 32 wolves would vi­o­late Nor­we­gian law and the Bern Con­ven­tion on the Con­ser­va­tion of Euro­pean Wildlife and Nat­u­ral Habi­tats. “The wolves of th­ese four packs do not rep­re­sent a suf­fi­cient po­ten­tial dam­age to sheep and do­mes­tic rein­deer” to jus­tify their killing, En­vi­ron­ment Min­is­ter Vi­dar Helge­sen told a news con­fer­ence.

Nor­way is home to nine breed­ing packs, against a tar­get set by par­lia­ment of four to six, ac­cord­ing to lat­est gov­ern­ment fig­ures. Helge­sen’s an­nounce­ment was wel­comed by WWF-Nor­way, which had pre­vi­ously voiced con­cern that the pro­jected “mass slaugh­ter” would cause 70 per­cent of the wolf pop­u­la­tion in the na­tion to dis­ap­pear.

It said the de­ci­sion marked the can­cel­la­tion of the most com­pre­hen­sive wolf hunt in Nor­way in over 100 years. “This is the best Christmas gift we could ever have,” said WWF-Nor­way head Nina Jensen. “This proves once and for all that the wolf is at home in the Nor­we­gian na­ture.” — AFP

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