By Imran Khan • 07 February 2023 • 18:33
Hunters kill 54 wolves in Sweden during largest ever controversial cull.
Photo by Lillian Tveit Shutterstock.com
A controversial decision by the government in Sweden has resulted in hunters killing 54 wolves, during its largest-ever cull.
This decision by the Swedish government authorised the culling of 75 wolves in 2023, which is double in comparison to the previous year.
According to scientists, this move by the government could have a huge impact on the number of wolves in the region, as they state that the population of wolves in these regions is not large enough.
The government´s decision has also been opposed by environmentalists, while the farmers living in rural areas have supported the move.
“Wolves are a threat for those of us who live in rural areas,” said Kjell-Arne Ottosson, a Christian Democrat MP, cited by the Guardian.
Ottosson added, “We have to manage that. We have to take this seriously.”
As per estimates provided by the Swedish government, at least 340 sheep have been killed by wolves in 2021.
Aside from farmers, wolves also face resentment from hunters, who claim that they attack their dogs, while they are hunting deer and elk.
Gunnar Glöersen, predator manager at the Swedish Hunters’ Association, states that ““This cull is absolutely necessary to slow the growth of wolves. Sweden’s wolf population is the largest we have had in modern times”.
But as only 203 wolves had been killed in Sweden during the past 12 years, this figure in 2023 has shocked the conservationists, who had called this decision “tragic”.
The population of wolves which is estimated at 460, was on the brink of extinction in the 1960s.
“It could have consequences for a long time to come”, said, Daniel Ekblom of the Nature Conservation Society.
The decision to reduce the population of wolves in Sweden was voted in their parliament two years ago, when it was agreed to cap their population at 270.
After this was passed, Swedish hunters association demanded that the number be further limited to 150.
Meanwhile, as per scientists, for the wolves to sustain a health population, their numbers in Sweden and Finland should not fall under 500.
Sweden´s environmental protection agency also believes that if the wolves population reduces less than 300, it could result in the wolves inbreeding.
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