Date: January 7, 2023 Time: 18:32:35
The government-sanctioned shooting will last for a month. It allows hunters to shoot 75 wolves in multiple areas in an attempt to reduce the threat they pose to farmers, livestock and local residents.
Scientists and non-governmental organizations opposed it. They believe that the killing threatens the survival of vulnerable species. The EU cannot advocate for the protection of wildlife in other parts of the world while stamping out predators at home, some experts say.
“The mass cull spells a ‘disaster’ for conservation efforts,” said Daniel Ekblom, spokesman for the Swedish Nature Conservation Association.
Shooting dozens of wolves could have a “very negative” impact on a population of around 460 and is genetically isolated, he said.
The wolf population in Sweden is the largest on record, but it is much lower than in many other European countries. There are about 3,300 wolves in Italy, about 1,886 in Poland and 783 in France.
The Swedish government has allowed the wolf population to drop to 385, but NGOs fear it could drop below 300 by spring due to a harsh winter, regardless of current hunting.
The Swedish Environmental Protection Agency believes that the population must remain above 300 predators for the species to be considered in favorable conservation status under EU law.