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On New Years Eve 2019, the Ministry of Climate and the Environment allowed the shooting of all the wolves of a wolf pack in the Letjenna area. At the same time, the Ministry prevented the real possibility of judicial review by publishing the decision at the last moment before the start of the hunt, so that it became impossible to request for temporary injunction.
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Four of the six wolves in the Letjennareviret in Elverum in Hedmark were shot on January 1st 2020, which was also the first day of the license hunt.
At midnight on January 1st, around 30 hunters started setting up 17 km of flag lines to ring the wolves in, and by 12 o’clock on 1 January, four wolves were killed. The hunters knew the location of the wolf pack since all lead wolves are radio collared.
The hunters told the Norwegian newspaper VG that that they had been planning for the hunt for 2 and a half months beforehand. He specified that the wolves want to avoid the flag line and the hunters entered the confined area where the wolves were located and then pushed them towards the edge of the ring where the hunters were ready to shoot them. Around 180 hunters participated in the hunt.
NOAH, the Norwegian NGO, reacts to the fact that there is no real opportunity to save the wolf pack within the zone by legal action:
NOAH immediately asked the Ministry to stop the hunt, because we want to take out temporary injunction. If the Ministry does not do so, they will prevent the democratic possibility of having the legality of the decision tried before the wolves are shot. NOAH will then proceed with legal action because we now see that a dangerous precedent for shooting in the wolf zone is created without the requirements of the law being met.
Time and again, NOAH has reminded politicians that the population target itself cannot justify the killing wolves, since there is no such legal basis in the Nature Diversity Act.
This highly problematic practice started with the shooting of the Slettås wolf pack last year. The state went beyond the boundaries set by the Nature Diversity Act and the Bern Convention. Decision on the shooting of the Letjenna pack show that the state now arbitrarily condemns entire wolf families to death simply because they are wolves. The Ministry has justified the shooting of yet another wolf family within the wolf zone by the need to “alleviate conflict” – without considering the side of the conflict that wants stronger protection of wild animals. It is neither a secret that the government aims to keep the wolf population at a politically determined level that is equivalent to maintaining the wolf in Norway at a critically endangered status. This is very alarming, especially when the government allows killing wolves in an area where the wolf should take precedence over other interests. It is the political game of power that requires wolf blood.
NOAH will go to court with a request to review the legality of the current decision on the shooting Letjenna-wolves in the wolf zone and also the decision from last year concerning Slettås-pack, regardless of whether we are given the opportunity to halt the hunt by interim injunction – which now looks questionable.
This information is from the Press Release of NOAH.