Mar 072016
 

There’s been a massacre in Finland. The country, which from afar looks to epitomize sustainable living, has slaughtered a third of its wolves this winter.

Seventy-five wolves have been killed since the end of August: 43 in a government-sanctioned cull, and most of the rest under a licence system that allows “problem” wolves – those repeatedly found in villages or menacing farm livestock – to be shot dead.

Thanks to people finally shrugging off the fairy tale baddies that teach us to fear this carnivore, and thanks to protection from an EU directive on habitats, wolf numbers – along with those of lynx and brown bears – have been slowly recovering in Europe.

‘In Finland, criticism of the wolf cull is portrayed as a clash between urban and forest culture.’ Photograph: Jussi Nukari/AFP/Getty Images

Wolves have proved adept at sharing space with humans, in some cases frequenting densely populated suburbs. Italy and Spain have large wolf populations and even Germany, where wolves are re-colonising from Poland, has a similar number of wolves to Finland. Germany also has 233 people for every sq km; Finland averages just 17.

There’s one fact that perhaps explains Finland’s lack of tenderness to wolves: its human population of 5.5 million includes 300,000 hunters. Finland’s government argues its cull will stop frustrated hunters from illegally shooting wolves – so the wolves are being killed for their own protection.

Last year, wolves were blamed for killing about 50 hunting dogs, infuriating hunters who spend years training them. Hunters are handsomely compensated but that’s not enough – the wolf is also a competitor for the elk and deer that hunters want to kill.

But there’s a third reason, according to Riku Lumiaro of the Finnish Association for Nature Conservation – and it will be familiar to anyone who brushes against British game shooters: “Hunters have total power over the countryside and they don’t want to lose it.”

In Finland, ​criticism of the wolf cull is portrayed as a clash between urban and “forest” culture. Lumiaro thinks it will simply take time, decades perhaps, for a cultural change.

This article was first published by The Guardian on 29 Feb 2016.


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Robin Hamilton
Guest

Happy to see that I am not the only one who wants hunters to hunt each other instead of innocent animals.

Jeanett Kristin Astrup
Guest

I want all killing to stop! If these hunters can't stop killing , they can kill themselves instead!

Karen Lafountain
Guest

Yes, the bloodthirst for wolves must stop.

Richard White
Guest
The murdering, hunting ,slaughter , traping & killing of our beautiful innocent wolves & wildlife need to be stoped ever where around the world …They want to have families & run free just as we do ,so they need to be respected ''AND'' not destroy …The way humans are trophy hunting just for sport & the money hungry low life's killing just to sell the their furs ..Humans took their domain away where they lives and they have no woods no more …humans just love to torture & kill , our grand kids won't be able to see nothing in… Read more »
Ginny Anders
Guest

My God Stop the killing of these animals!

Mac Tíre
Guest

Also,what kind of idiot do you have to be to encroach on a wild predators territory,erect what is basically,to them, a fast food restaurant and then complain when they take advantage of it? Again-not rocket science guys!

Mac Tíre
Guest

I cannot believe the part where the guy is complaining about his hunting dogs being killed. Heres an idea you clown-stop hunting Wolves with your dogs and they'll stop getting killed! Duh! Who ties these peoples laces in the morning? If anyone needs any clarification on the importance of Wolves as part of 'The Circle of Life' watch 'How Wolves change rivers' on youtube! Save the Wolves! Aaaaarrrrroooooooooooo!!!!!!!!!!!

Doreen Collins-Mandara
Guest

Yes it should be stopped! Every animal on the earth has a purpose! The wolf fears humans that's why it runs and hides. Leave it be. They only kill the sick and dying. We need to respect these creatures not destroy them!

Victoria B. Parisio
Guest
Hell yes, we all need to know that all creatures of this earth do not need to be killed for what they are, but need to be acknowledged for what they are and WE HUMANS need to take stock in that and deal with that fact and not demonize them despise what we think. You can do culls and hunts, but in the end, you are murdering these animals and the eco-system suffers in more ways than you will ever know, believe it or not, you may not like hearing that but it does. All animals play a part in… Read more »
Susannah Gelbart
Guest

Stop the hunting!

Mike Collins
Guest
Yes the slaughter of wolves in Finland should be stopped Immediately as should the slaughter of all such essentially important predators everywhere…But Humans must crawl before the species learns to walk together in harmony with the natural world again for some! for the first time for many others… But,I believe We as a Collective will see this done for sure here in America very soon… and i hope the world can begin to understand the wasteful intolerance our species has developed and will have the intelligence to rise above the accepted practice of inconsiderate destruction and the killing of wild… Read more »
David E. Shellenberger
Guest

Wolves should be protected and appreciated for their intrinsic, ecological, and economic value.

Catherine Ferguson
Guest

Why are we killing nature.the wolves were put on this earth for a reason.they cull the sick and dying so new life may begin.have a heart,stop killing the inocent wolves they have the same rights on this planet as anything else .

Mitzi Frank
Guest

Slaughter of wolves should be stopped in Finland and everywhere else…..

Barbara Schultheis
Guest
I'm definitely not against hunting, but I believe that hunting has to be highly controlled! I hate trophy hunting and believe that if you hunt, make sure to eat the meat or give it away to someone who will benefit from it! In Colorado, if we didn't have hunting, all of Colorado would be covered in housing developements and strip malls! A lot of people come to Colorado to hunt and many people who live here hunt! I don't hunt and wouldn't ever hunt, but I appreciate hunters because they save our beautiful landscape from being totally overun with developement.… Read more »
Alpha Beast
Guest

Yes!

Nancy O'Neal
Guest

voted yes

Michele Jankelow
Guest

Would be wonderful if agencies were recognize all that we sign in opposition to these hunts. Polls are all good and informative but they need to be respected by agencies that are making diabolical decisions on wildlife.

Vince Smith
Guest

Absolutely!
Does anyone know what happens to all these surveys?
Do they make any difference whatsoever? Does anyone with any influence even see them?

Andrei Hanches
Guest

Should!? It must!

Judith Cavey
Guest

YES!

Yvonne Olausson
Guest

Yes

Mary Alice Pollard
Guest

The murdering of wolves/wildlife should be stopped EVERYWHERE !

Mary Alice Pollard
Guest

I have a sticker that says, I love hunting accidents !

Donna Smith
Guest

Do we really need a poll/survey to determine if unnecessarily killing an animal is wrong?

Sue Lesmond
Guest

I am fed up with the killing of innocent animals.My philosophy is "The only good hunter is a dead one! Hunt the hunter!"

mashood
Guest

its a tug of war between practice/culture and the necessity influenced by balance. We have to find that balance

Susannah Gelbart
Guest

Yes!

❤️❤WOLVES❤️❤ Ⓥ
Guest

YES

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