Several European countries like Finland, Norway and Sweden are culling wolves in order to control their population. While hunters in Sweden have already shot 27 wolves, which is most of their annual target, Finland is to authorise the killing of 20 wolves as a part of its first “population management cull.”
In Sweden, the 395 population estimates for the year 2020-21 have now come down to 300, says wildlife groups. Magnus Orrebrant, chair of an NGO said, “Sweden has promised the EU we should not go below 300 – that’s the bare minimum. We have informed the EU that 300 is way too low. We have habitat that could house more than 1,000 wolves.”
Norway, on the other hand, will kill about 60 per cent of its wolves this winter. In Norway, 5 per cent of the country is considered a wolf protection zone. Even after this, 25 wolves will be killed inside the protection zone this winter.
Many conservation groups have appealed to the European Union to take action against this mass slaughter. Conservationists have accused these nations of creating a hostile environment for wolves in western Europe.
In a report by The Guardian, Siri Martinsen, chief executive of an animal rights group said, “Its a horrific situation. Norway’s wolf management is out of control and they are just shooting wolves because some people don’t like them. It is outrageous to hold a species at a critically endangered level.”
(With inputs from agencies)