A wolverine, wolves, and a lynx, Photo: Jonas Ekströmer/Yvonne Åsell/Scanpix. Montage: Sveriges Radio.

European Commission to review wolf legislation

The European Commission is to review the Swedish government’s proposed legislation on wolves and other predators. The controversial proposal says biological diversity could be maintained if there were between 170 and 270 wolves in Sweden.

That compares to around 400 animals in Sweden and Norway today, according to Swedish Television News. The commission has threatened to take Sweden to the European Court of Justice over previous plans to cull wolves here.

In addition to wolves the legislation covers bears, wolverines, lynx, and golden eagles.

Besides the EU review, the legislation also has to pass parliament, where the government lacks a majority. Both the opposition Green and Left parties say the proposed ceiling for the wolf population is too low, while the Social Democrats have not taken a position yet.

Farmers and reindeer herders complain that wolves and other predators kill too many of their animals, although they are compensated by the state for lost livestock. Conservationists are concerned that the Swedish wolf population is too inbreed, and say that a larger population is needed to maintain genetic diversity.

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