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More problems for the Government's wolf policy

Published söndag 13 mars 2011 kl 13.56
The Swedish wolf population suffers from inbreeding. Photo: Scanpix

The government's wolf-policy is running into further problems, Swedish Radio News reports. In order to ensure that grown wolves imported from Finland are not infected by rabies, Swedish scientists would first want to de-worm, inoculate and observe them for six months. But the Finnish authorities object: if the Swedes want any Finnish wolves they have to take them straight away.

The Swedish wolf policy has been sharply criticised by the European Commissioner, Janez Potocnik, for allowing wolf hunts before coming up with a viable plan for how the culled animals shall be replaced. In January, the European Commission started legal proceedings against Sweden for breaking the EU law.

The Swedish Environment Minister Andreas Carlgren has motivated the licensed wolf hunt of some 20 wolves this year as well as last with the claim that it increases acceptance for the import of new wolves, which is necessary to halt the inbreeding in the Swedish wolf population.

But introducing new wolves have proven to be more difficult than the Carlgren and his advisors expected. In February the Finnish Ministry of Agriculture said it was out of the question that Sweden takes wolf cubs from Finland, as they would have difficulties in surviving in a new environment. And the Swedish Association of Zoological Parks and Aquaria said it would take time before any wolves from zoos could be released into the wild.

So, according to Swedish Radio News, the plan was to take grown wolves from Finland. Several Swedish authorities, including the National Veterinary institute, say it needs to be preceded by a period when radio transmitters are put on the wolves and when they are de-wormed, vaccinated against rabies and then followed in Finland for half a year, to ensure that the wolves do not carry rabies.

Kristian Krognell at the Finnish Agriculture Ministry says they could deliver wolves within a few weeks, but he is not interested in any 6 month's observation period in Finland. He tells Swedish Radio News: "If Sweden is interested in getting these wolves, then Sweden has to take care of the whole process. We are ready to capture them, take the necessary tests and deliver them at the border."

Our journalism is based on credibility and impartiality. Swedish Radio is independent and not affiliated to any political, religious, financial, public or private interests.
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