POLL: Should wolf hunting in Norway be banned?

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Wolves have emerged as the most sought-after animal for Norwegian hunters this season, with 11,571 people registering for licences to shoot 16 animals – a ratio of 723 hunters per .

The animals – of which may have as few as 30 living in the wild – top the league in new figures that reveal a trigger-happy community of hunters.

The Norwegian brown bear comes in a close second with 10,930 registered licence holders keen to hunt down 18 individuals, followed by 10,820 licence holders interested in 141 wolverines, according to the country’s register for hunters.

A wolf standing in falling snow in Norway. Photograph: Alamy

The number of those registering to hunt wolves in the 2015-16 season compares with just under 10,000 people registered for the 2013-14 season – the last for which figures are available, according to the Norwegian Association for Fishing and .

In Norway, the wolf-hunting season begins on 1 October and ends on 31 March.

Norway has a strong tradition of hunting and more than 200,000 registered hunters, most of whom have signed up for automatic notification once the licences are issued. It is viewed as a thrill – and definitely a male domain. Only about 500 women have registered for this year’s hunt, although the proportion of female hunters in Norway is growing steadily.

A wolf hunter in Norway. Photograph: Bjorn Sigurdson/EPA

The main pack of wolves is based in the south-eastern part of Norway, where they also have a designated habitat. However, many individuals wander into other areas of the country – risking their lives in doing so.

Wolves that enter Sweden, Finland or Russia might be luckier since those countries are considered more concerned with sustainability of such fragile animal populations. While neither the wolf nor bear populations are yet at the level sought by Norwegian authorities, decisions to hand out hunting licences are made to protect livestock, according to the country’s environment agency.

While licensed hunting is part of a policy to keep predator populations under control, it is suspected that such populations – and especially the wolves – are kept down by illegal hunting, said Petter Wabakken, an internationally acclaimed expert on wolves. He thinks this is particularly disturbing given that Norway’s wolf population is perhaps as small as 30 animals.

Government policy at present allows three breeding females within the designated area. This is not enough to sustain a healthy population, Wabakken said.

This article was first published by The Guardian on 01 Dec 2015.

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Norway kill wolves and do not stop and kill them for they have killed 47 wolves and there will I that to happen but Norway does not care it will destroy all the wolves found in Norway I would like it to be prohibited and hunt the wolves wolves find animals that have not harmed us in clients but it is the lean world will kill wolves and all the animals that exist.

Debra L. Taylor

The people of Norway need to learn what people of Botswana learned. Wildlife brings tourism!!! Preserve!!

Kathleen Colley

I cannot believe that any intelligent government in a highly civilised country like Norway, would even consider killing wolves when it is known that only about 30 exist.! Wolves were wiped out in Europe hundreds of years ago until none existed – that's called extinction. SHAME! Now some countries are trying to reintroduce them and are finding it difficult due to farmers wanting more and more sheep etc who are once again, killing wolves. Wolves are indiginous to Northern Europe and should be there. They keep the wild places in balance – take them out and other species overrun the… Read more »

Michele Jankelow

Truly has man lost all dignity and respect for nature! I find this absolutely abhorrent! Shame on the Norwegian and other nations that find blood sports "fun"!

Myriam Pillon

stop aux assacres !!!!!

Gemie Tortue


Miglena Ianakieva

I accidentally clicked "No".
But I didn't mean to!
I meant "NO, they shouldn't be hunted."
I wish I could change my VOTE.

Elizabeth McCall

Hunting for food is only acceptable in the hunter really needs the food. Most people can just buy something from the local supermarket

Meta Williams

With so few wolves left, there should be no question, hunting them should be banned. What is WRONG with Norwegians that they would be this bloodthirsty?

David W. Zoetmulder Sr.

Killing Wolves for fun is a crime. Hunting for food is acceptable but murdering Wolves should be stopped today.

Helga Riekeles

This planned hunt is a crime! a crime towards our common nature and wild life, a crime towards the number of devoted norwegians that have a hope and continious work to bless our wolves to be a solid part of norwgian fauna. This planned hunt is a result from mighty sheep owners and hunters, who are lacking basic knowledge how a fauna i balance should exist. Thank you all foreigners who stand up for our endangred wolf population. May our politicians read and think and be ashamed and be as brave to stop this crime.

Nicky Metson

Absolutely abhorrent! Ban ALL hunting! Bloodlust! Save these beautiful animals!

Alli Shenton

How can a tiny population of only 30 wolves with only 3 breeding females even be considered for hunting. It's appalling. And Norway is a wealthy country which can afford to compensate farmers for loss of livestock.

Toni Bunnell

In the name of humanity, common sense and intelligence, please stop the slaughter of these beautiful animals that merely signifies to the rest of the world that Norway condones brutality and cruelty towards animals and is not concerned with preserving a species that is on the verge of extinction.

Arlene Labbe

Rhetorical question, unless the wolf is hunting the man, then no.

Steve Gent

Of course. No justification for it

Karen Lyons Kalmenson

ALL hunting should be banned!

Anne Sahlstedt

Of course it should be banned. All hunting for pleasure should be banned.

Nina Stavlund

I'm not very proud to be Norwegian when it comes to the fur industry and killing of wolf, lynx and whales. I do hope that perhaps pressure from soscial media, petitions and polls signed, that they will do something to stop this madness. As the only p;rogress I've seen so far is the rumour of Norwegian government cutting subsidies to fur farmers.

Mark McCandlish

I've been to Norway- (about 45 years ago as a kid) Beautiful country. Too bad they haven't learned to appreciate the meaning of the term "endangered". Tell you what, though. As long as this government-sanctioned hunt goes on in that country, I will NEVER patronize a Norwegian business, nor will I ever spend a cent on any product manufactured in that country. Here's hoping the trigger-happy SOB's in Norway fill one-another with lead and rot in hell.

Michele Jankelow

Has man lost all compassion, all dignity and all respect for nature and its right to survive!

Anne Grice

Yes of course? Why should humans continue to kill wildlife becaue they need to cheer up their owmn dull self loathing life? Wolves and every wild life has the right to live on this planet even though the despicable human specie thinks they are superior and should be here? We are not superior and we must share this planet ! These psychopths are obvioulsy bored and should strive to help fellow humans instead!

Sue Lesmond

The only good hunter is a dead one.
Hunt the hunter.

Robin Hamilton

Only 30 wolves in Norway and the government wants to permit hunters to kill half of them? THAT IS INSANE! Wolves keep the wilderness and wildlife around them healthy by taking out the weak and the sick. They are highly intelligent and sentient beings and there are virtually no records of them actually attacking mankind,. The officials in charge of wildlife management continue to grossly underestimate the number of wolves required to maintain sufficient gene diversity for survival. Allowing only three wolf packs to reproduce is unthinkable unless the real goal is to eliminate all wolves! All of the existing… Read more »

Joanne White

Eleven thousand killers after a few endangered wolves? Of course it should be banned.

Hilary Morrison

Yes of course ban it.