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EU, Sweden in debate over wolf hunt

BRUSSELS, Jan. 17 (UPI) -- The European Union's environment commissioner says he will take Sweden to court over that country's annual wolf hunt, saying it may be illegal under EU laws.

Janez Potocnik says the environment commission had called for a dialogue with the Swedish government about the fact that the commission considers the hunt may be in violation of EU law, The Local reported Monday.

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"I regret that Sweden has embarked on the licensed hunting of wolves without providing a clear answer to my letter sent on Dec. 7," Potocnik, who is responsible for the protection of endangered species, said in a statement.

"The Swedish authorities' actions give me few other options than to propose to the EU Commission to start a formal proceeding against Sweden for breaching the EU's environmental laws," Potocnik said.

Both the licensed hunting of wolves and the set limit of the number of wolves in the Sweden are incompatible with EU rules for the conservation of predatory animals, Potocnik said.

Last year the Swedish Parliament decided to limit the wolf population to 210 animals spread out in 20 packs by issuing hunting permits in areas where the wolves were reproducing, The Local reported.

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