Swedish wolf hunt halted by court

Jan. 16, 2014 at 2:02 PM

STOCKHOLM, Sweden, Jan. 16 (UPI) -- A Swedish administrative court canceled an annual wolf hunt after Swedish environmental groups took the issue to court.

The licensed hunt, which was scheduled to begin Feb. 1, was an effort by the Swedish government to protect livestock from the country's growing wolf population by killing 30 of the wolves, the Swedish news agency TT reported.

Mikael Karlsson of the Swedish Society for Natural Conservation told TT his group was "very happy with" the decision the court made Wednesday.

"We counted on it turning out this way, as the decision to stop last year's hunt is still being reviewed by the courts," Karlsson said.

Sweden has not held a wolf hunt since 2011; the past three hunts have been called off after environmental groups appealed the government's decision.

Bo Skold, secretary-general of the Swedish Hunting Association, said Wednesday's ruling is a disaster.

"We've had three parliamentary decisions on the wolf hunt: 2001, 2009 and 2013. It's clear that the democratic system's ability to manage this issue doesn't work and that means people lose faith in it," he told TT.

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