28 March 2011
Ministry of the Environment
Government responds to European Commission on wolf hunt
The Government has today submitted its response to the European Commission's letter of formal notice on wolf policy.
"The aim of the Government's wolf policy is for wolves to achieve the favourable conservation status that they currently lack. This requires strong and controversial measures, and the different aspects of wolf policy cannot be considered in isolation, as the Commission tends to do," says Minister for the Environment Andreas Carlgren.
"Genetically strengthening the wolf population requires an acceptance that cannot be achieved without licensed hunting and the decentralisation of responsibility and decision-making to those affected by the presence of wolves, which has been undertaken," says Mr Carlgren.
"Wolf policy must enjoy support from those affected and be decided on in Sweden," says Mr Carlgren.
In its letter of formal notice, the Commission has questioned five aspects of wolf policy. The Swedish response includes the following points:
- Clear measures have long been taken to prepare and implement strengthening of the genetic situation. Preparations for this were approved in 2009 and initiated in spring 2010. One wolf has already been moved.
- The Habitats Directive allows for hunting, and the Commission's own expert group, the Large Carnivore Initiative for Europe (LCIE), considers it "unlikely" that the Swedish hunt contravenes regulations.
- The hunt has been limited and selective. The temporary ceiling on wolf numbers is just that - temporary. It is just one part of overall efforts to achieve favourable conservation status.
- Acceptance of wolves has increased thanks to the new predator policy.
- The measures proposed by the Commission, such as compensation to affected owners of domestic animals, the use of fences and awareness-raising initiatives, are already implemented in Sweden.
Press Secretary to Andreas Carlgren