Appeal courts issue dueling rulings on wolf hunts

3:51 min

Wolf hunts remain a contentious issue in Sweden and now there is a battle in the courts about whether hunting permits for the animals will be allowed in early 2016.

The Swedish Environmental Protection Agency decided to grant limited and controlled wolf hunting licenses in the different counties throughout Sweden, which is now working its way up through appeals court and is likely to end in the Swedish Supreme Court for a final ruling expected to come sometime soon.

Hanna Ek works at the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency.

"There were different amounts in each county, but permits to hunt a total of 46 wolves were granted originally," Ek tells Radio Sweden.

Courts had ruled to suspend the EPA's wolf hunt decision, which was then appealed in three district courts: Sundsvall, Gothenburg and Stockholm.

The appeal in the Sundsvall court was granted, meaning that wolf hunts in Dalarna and Gävleborg counties may proceed. However, courts in Gothenburg and Stockholm struck down the appeals there, leaving Värmland, Västmanland and Örebro counties without permits to hunt wolves.

Mikael Ocklind is a judge at the Administrative Court of Appeal in Gothenburg.

"There are some facts that have to be met in order to give them a review dispensation, but these facts were not sufficient here," Ocklind told Radio Sweden. "It can be appealed, so maybe it will go to the Supreme Administrative Court in Stockholm."

The wolf hunts were scheduled to be permitted 2 January to 15 February.