Norway landmark ruling sees five jailed over wolf hunting

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Five men have been sentenced to prison in for organising an illegal hunt, in the country’s first prosecution of such a case.

The group’s ringleader was sentenced to one year and eight months in prison, while four others were ordered to serve between six months and a year.

They all denied the charges. Four of the men have appealed the ruling.

The landmark case has set Norwegians’ hunting rights against the survival of Europe’s smallest wolf populations.

The men were all prosecuted for attempting to trap wolves in February 2014.

Norway has one of the smallest populations of wolves, with perhaps as few as 30. Photograph: Alamy

They were tried under Norway’s organised crime laws following a high level police operation involving telephone wiretaps.

The strictest sentence was handed down to Dennis Nordahl, 48, who was judged to be the main defendant in the case at the South Oesterdal District Court in eastern Norway, reports say.

He was also accused of shooting a wolf in a separate incident in March last year. He said he had been on a fox hunting trip, and denied knowing the animal he killed was a wolf.

As well as the prison sentences, the men all received hunting bans of various lengths.

A sixth defendant was found not guilty.

Norway is believed to have one of the smallest population of wolves in Europe – with perhaps as few as 30.

Wolves were hunted to near extinction in southern Scandinavia until a hunting ban was imposed in the 1970s.

However farmers generally welcome wolf hunting, as the animals are seen as a great threat to sheep and dogs.

This article was first published by The BBC on 21 Apr 2015.


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Nina Stavlund

Oh man this is excellent news!!

Akin Erbay

Feed those people to hungry wolves

Susan Lee

That is the way it SHOULD be…good people stopping BAD people!

Claudia Hasse

It will always seem too little of a punishment for the irreparable loss caused by these criminals,but at least they were caught and given some kind of penalty.Hope all countries would join in at least with these type of actions.Well done for Norway!

Linda French
Linda French

more countries should send wolf and wildlife killers to jail!

Anne Grice

If this hunter doesn't know the difference between a fox and a wolf, why does he have a hunting licence because how many more animals can't he identify correctly?? This is so absurd and he must spend a long time in prison. Its a relieve to see Norway making an attempt to save the few remaining wolves. I wish Sweden and the other countries would protect their wolves and stop harassing them to death!

Karen Crawford

I am glad to hear that these men received jail sentences for hunting wolves illegally. One of the accused was on a fox hunting trip . This man shot a wolf and denied that he didn't know it was a wolf. There is a huge difference between a wolf and a fox. Another Darwin fail.