Wolf decision in Norway expected early January
The Norwegian government allows the culling of 42 wolves in Norway this winter. This equals 75 percent of the wolves that reside permanently within the Norwegian borders.
After WWF-Norway managed to stop the culling of the critically endangered wolf earlier this autumn, the Ministry of Climate and Environment made a new, identical culling decision, with a slightly reduced number of wolves. Because of this, WWF was forced to sue the state for the second time in just a few weeks. A two day long court hearing at Oslo District Court ended yesterday, the same day the culling started outside the designated wolf zone in Norway. The culling starts inside the wolf zone January 1st.
– We want a full legal review of the entire wolf management in Norway. We have also asked that the culling that started yesterday be stopped immediately. We are of course disappointed that the Ministry of Climate and Environment would not agree to halt the culling until the court has reached its decision. As a result, we now risk that several wolves will be shot. In our view, this culling goes against the law, said Ingrid Lomelde, Policy Director at WWF-Norway.
The cull license includes 12 wolves outside the wolf zone in the regions Oslo, Akershus, Hedmark and Østfold, and 14 more in the rest of the country. Five of these were already shot earlier this autumn. In addition, the government allows the culling of two wolf packs, 16 animals, residing inside the wolf zone. This hunt starts January 1st.
WWF-Norway has sued the Norwegian state, stating that the current wolf management goes against the constitution, the Biodiversity Act and the Bern Convention. A date has not yet been set for the case to be tried at the Oslo District Court.
Here is a summary of the what has happened so far:
- November 2nd WWF-Norway sued the state because we hold that the wolf management is unconstitutional, and that it goes against the Norwegian Biodiversity Act and the Bern Convention. At the same time, WWF demanded a temporary stop to the ongoing culling in Østfold, Oslo, Akershus and Hedmark.
- November 21st the Oslo District Court ruled in favour of WWF-Norway and the ongoing culling was stopped– on the grounds that the current quota decision contained procedural errors.
- December 1st the Ministry of Climate and Environment made a new culling decision for hunting outside the wolf zone in the above-mentioned counties. The Ministry substantiated its decision by stating that the procedural errors from the previous decision had been rectified. However, the content of the new decision is the same as in the first decision.
- December 1st the Ministry of Climate and Environment also decided that two wolf packs – a total of 16 animals – living inside the zone can be culled.
- December 13th WWF sues the state for the second time, since the original lawsuit was linked to the culling decision that the Oslo District Court set aside. The new lawsuit is linked to the two decisions made by the Ministry on December 1st.
- December 13th WWF-Norway simultaneously demands a full stop to the culling in all areas of thecounties mentioned above – i.e. the culling of both the 12 wolves outside the zone and the two packs – until a full legal treatment has been carried out by the courts.
- December 20th and 21st: Court hearing at Oslo District Court between the parties WWF-Norway and the Ministry of Climate and Environment.