Finnish hunters have been authorised to kill nearly 20% of the country’s wolf population in a controversial trial cull that begins this weekend, aimed at managing stocks.
Authorities hope the sanctioned hunt of nearly 50 of the country’s estimated 250 grey wolves will curb illegal poaching, which some rural landowners have resorted to in recent years after seeing wolves on their property, sometimes killing their dogs and livestock.
“We wish to gain experience [to see] if this could be one solution to the conflict around wolves,” Sauli Härkönen, a director tasked with hunting administration at the Finnish Wildlife Agency, told AFP.
The cull begins on Saturday, with quotas for specific regions and carried out by licensed hunters.
To protect the animal, no culls were authorised between 2007 and 2015, after the European commission accused Finland of breaching EU protection rules on the endangered species, resulting in widespread poaching in Finland.
In 2015, Finland resumed its first authorised trial hunt in a bid to address the rift between animal rights activists and landowners. The conflict escalated in 2013 when a group in the rural western municipality of Perho who saw the animals as a threat took the law into their own hands and killed three wolves. Twelve men were prosecuted and found guilty.
Poachers throughout the country’s vast and remote forests had reduced the total wolf population to between 120 and 135 animals in 2013, from an estimated 250 to 300 in 2007. Since 2013, the wolf population has rebounded to around 250, but many Finns have a deep-rooted fear of wolves.
Rural residents frequently express concern for the safety of their dogs and livestock, while some claim their children are in danger, though there have been no reported attacks on people in modern times.
Environmentalists worry the month-long cull may destroy the wolves’ genetic diversity.
The first trial cull was held in 2015 with 24 permits, and 17 wolves were killed. This year the number of permits has been nearly doubled to 46, causing an uproar among protectionists.
“The population should be at least twice as big for it to be genetically healthy,” said Mari Nyyssölä-Kiisla, head of the wolf action group of the Finnish Nature League.
This article was first published by The Guardian on 21 Jan 2016.
We invite you to share your opinion whether the wolf cull in Finland should be stopped? Please vote and leave your comments at the bottom of this page:
Thank you for voting.
Share on social media:
You may also like:
Top-Viewed Posts Last 30 Days
- POLL: Should the cruel sport of bullfighting be banned? [1383 Views]
- Karma Strikes Again: Trophy Hunter Killed by Elephant [1120 Views]
- POLL: Should the Grizzly Bear be removed from the Endangered Species List? [1007 Views]
- POLL: Should all circuses with wild animals be closed down? [967 Views]
- ‘Kill them, kill them, kill them’: the volunteer army plotting to wipe out Britain’s grey squirrels [817 Views]
- $10,000 reward offered to find killer of famous Yellowstone white wolf [701 Views]
- Gray Squirrels versus Red Squirrels – The Facts [626 Views]
- Elephants Can’t Wait to Meet New Rescued Baby at Sanctuary [617 Views]
- Heroic Boat Captain Rescues Entangled Great White Shark [614 Views]
- Live donkey fed to tigers in shareholder protest at Chinese zoo [587 Views]
Top-Viewed Posts Last 12 Months
- White Killer Whale Adult Spotted for First Time in Wild [42100 Views]
- POLL: Should there be a worldwide ban on fur farms? [16884 Views]
- POLL: Should Congress disband Wildlife “Killing” Services? [11134 Views]
- POLL: Should fur farming be banned in the European Union? [10607 Views]
- POLL: Should driven grouse-shooting be banned? [8675 Views]
- POLL: Should grouse shooting on highland estates be banned? [8246 Views]
- POLL: Should China’s dog meat festival be banned? [7444 Views]
- POLL: Should the killing of giraffes be outlawed? [4685 Views]
- POLL: Should the slaughter of pilot whales in the Faroes be stopped? [4657 Views]
- POLL: Should Spain’s “Running of the Bulls” festival be banned? [4609 Views]