December 3, 2009

Sweden Allows First Wolf Hunt In 45 Years

After the decision by the Scandinavian country's parliament, Sweden will allow it's first wolf hunt in 45 years.

Susanna Loefgren of the Swedish EPA told AFP, they are to announce by mid-December it's qouta for the wolf cull.

It's expected to be between 20 and 40 animals.

Loefgren says, "That (number is) what (experts) have offered us, we're working on it and a decision will be taken mid-December."

The hunt will be allowed in the province of Dalarna, Gaevleborg country and Oerebro country, as well as the provinces of Vaestergeotland.

The Swedish parliament decided in October to limit the wolf population to 210 animals, spread out in 20 packs, for the next five years by issuing hunting permits in regions where wolves have reproduced in the past three years.

Leofgren says, "The main reason for the decision is to raise the (public's) acceptance of wolves" in Sweden by limiting their number."

The EPA estimates the wolf population in Sweden is to be between 182 and 217 last winter.

They say the hunt will begin in January and end before mating season starts in February.

Wolves almost became extinct in Sweden in the 1970s but their number has increased steadily since efforts were made to reintroduce the animal to the country.

Like some other European countries, Sweden allows the hunt of protected species, such as the brown bear and the lynx, in order to cull stocks.