Den svenska vargjakten väcker negativ uppmärksamhet på många håll internationellt. Här är en artikel från Italien, översatt till engelska.
The Swedish wolf hunt attracts negative attention internationally. Here is an article from Italy, translated into English.
In recent days, several people have reported to us what is happening in Sweden, and many national and international newspapers are talking about what appears to be the largest campaign to date against wolves in a country of the European Community.
As an Association, we have long been aware of the problems concerning the conservation of the wolf in Sweden, and more generally of the problems affecting the Scandinavian wolf population threatened by various factors, first of all a genetic impoverishment caused by a high level of inbreeding between individuals (inbreeding), from poaching, estimated by local associations at about 80 specimens killed every year in Sweden alone, and more generally to a campaign to demonize the species systematically carried out by all stakeholders, in a context different from the Italian one but in fact equally permeated with misinformation.
On behalf of European Alliance for Wolf Conservation of which we are members and with the support of Svenska Rovdjursföreningen (The Swedish Association for Large Carnivores) we have already sent several letters to the Directorate General for the Environment in Brussels highlighting the defaults that the Swedish Government is reportedly making with respect to the obligations established by EU law and in compliance with the Habitats Directive. The European Commission has always responded by emphasizing that Sweden, as an EU Member State, must also achieve and maintain a favorable conservation status for all species and habitat types covered by the Directive, including wolves, and that Member States must establish their reference population based on scientific data and that the number of specimens present on national soil is only one of the four parameters to be taken into consideration to evaluate the conservation status of a species (together with the range, the habitat of the species and future prospects).
Today, however, things are going differently: in these hours over 2000 hunters are engaged in the total killing of 14 packs, including the puppies born in spring: 75 wolves out of the 460 specimens present on Swedish soil killed through an unprecedented mobilization, with the help of the latest technologies and with large packs of hunted dogs. The count also excludes the wolves killed that are affected by scabies as well as no distinction is made between the specimens of some areas that preserve a different genetic heritage, often relating to the Russian / Finnish population, of fundamental importance for the conservation of the Scandinavian population struggling with major genetic problems.
But why is Sweden carrying out this unprecedented campaign?
The reasons are not attributable to problems of an economic nature: the numbers of depredations by wolves to the detriment of farmed animals are truly minimal, and in the case of sheep it does not even represent 0,1% of grazing animals. Furthermore, thanks to a wide use of means of prevention such as electrified networks in recent years the damage has even decreased, despite the exponential growth of the wolf population. In Sweden today there is therefore the opposition of two points of view: on the one hand there is what science demonstrates, namely that large carnivores are welcome by 70% or more of the population living in the areas where they are present, on the other, hunters and political realities who claim that the majority of the Swedish population would be against wolves, even if they do not provide any documentation to support their thesis. On these bases, therefore, the Government has issued a wolf hunting license with the stated aim of ”increasing the acceptance of the wolf among the population” through culling. However, a recent study conducted by the Swedish University of Agriculture (SLU) shows no significant statistical difference in the acceptance of wolves by the population before and after these killings. The real motivations could instead be attributable rather to ”Trophy Hunting” and to a deeply rooted hunting culture that sees hunting large predators such as wolves, bears and lynx as activities connected more to the tradition of the country than to the conservation and scientific management of predators. Every year several hundred bears and about a hundred lynxes are actually killed legally in Sweden. In conclusion, as an association, and together with the European Alliance for Wolf Conservation we will continue to appeal to the European Commission not only to initiate any infringement procedures against the Swedish Government, but above all to reiterate to all countries how much wolf management must be supported by valid scientific evidence rather than by the will of the lobbies to carry on traditions by now out of time in a context, the one that the world is experiencing today, where the protection of habitats and the conservation of wild species must be the priority.
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