The ministry proposes slaughtering 20 wolves

The Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry is preparing a permit that will allow 20 wolves to be slaughtered next year.

In a statement issued on Monday, the ministry said the permit is intended to ensure a balance between a viable wolf population and meeting the needs of people in wandering areas.

"Hunting regulates the growth of the wolf population, prevents injuries and promotes the acceptability of wolves," Minister of Agriculture and Forestry Jari Leppä (Cen) stated in a ministry release.

The Greens are urging the ministry to wait for the agency’s report

Maria Ohisalo, Minister of the Interior and President of the Greens, tweeted his response to the ministry’s statement on Monday night, calling for a plan "outrageous".

Other MPs have also expressed their views publicly, and there is a clear distinction between Center Party politicians and Greens.

Minister of the Environment and Climate Krista Mikkonen (Green) also opposed the ministry’s plans and wrote on Twitter that the regulation should be rejected until a report from the Natural Resources Center (Luke) is ready.

"The [report's] the premise is that wolves receive a scientifically and independently defined level of protection and that this level is not exceeded or compromised. The analysis work will be completed in autumn 2022," Mikkonen wrote.

The aim of Luke’s two-year research project is to identify and suggest ways to protect the Finnish wolf population, and the institute agreed with Minister Mikkonen’s criticism of the slaughter plans.

"The Natural Resources Center condemns the wolf quota hunting plans as premature, as the assessment of the conservation level of the country’s wolf population is still pending." Luke said in a press release.

Alder: The ministry can’t wait for Luke’s report

Luke published an interim report on the conservation project in early September, and one key finding was that the Finnish wolf population is currently too small to remain genetically viable.

However, Minister of Agriculture and Forestry Leppä told Yle that injuries caused by wolves and feelings of fear and insecurity have increased at such a rate that the ministry can no longer wait for Luke’s investigation to be completed before taking action.

"The number of wolves is now increasing very fast in Finland, and we need this one tool, which is currently lacking in number control. That is why we want to move. However, we first wanted to wait for Luke’s interim report," Alder said and added that Finland’s long eastern border with Russia ensures that the wolf’s genetic diversity is preserved.

Luke’s interim report stated that inbreeding is reflected in the wolf population in southwestern Finland, which is not affected by the migration of wolves from the territory of Russian Karelia.

Wolves are protected, endangered species

According to the EU Habitats Directive, the wolf is a strictly protected species outside the Finnish reindeer husbandry area. However, protection may be waived if the hunting quota is clear and the authorities can demonstrate that there is no other satisfactory solution.

The quota set by the Ministry for next year would be 20 wolves outside the reindeer husbandry area, and does not apply to wolves killed by police order or to injury and safety exemptions granted by the Cross Office.

The aim of the ministry is to issue a decree in early December, when wolf hunting could begin after the turn of the year.

According to Luke ‘s latest figures, there were about 28 wolf herds and about 20 in Finland in March "couple" susista.

"Term "packaging" refers to a group of three or more wolves that mostly move together and share the same area "pair" refers to two wolves moving together and dividing an area. Most of the wolf population lives in herds or in pairs in winter," the institute explained the terms.

The Finnish wolf population is currently at its highest level in the last 100 years, the figures reveal.

Source: The Nordic Page





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