Norway’s Predicament- Kill Or Keep Wolves?

A Heated Debate

In December, the Minister of Climate and Environment Vidar Helgesen said no to shooting 32 wolves in Norway. The debate on whether wolves should be protected or shot due to the danger they impose on humans and their pets has been heated and highly reported on in the media.

Wolves are classified as a critically endangered species in Norway, but not globally.

Mari Gerhardsen, whose dog was killed and eaten by three wolves this week tells NRK,

“I think it’s really sad. I am sad on the behalf of those who think that it is okay that we have wolves in Norway. Next time it could go with a child. And that is absolutely not good.”

She says that she no longer understands people that think the wolves should be protected. She worries about the safety of her two remaining dogs and multiple horses.

Those that are against shooting wolves argue that it is illegal and that animals eating each other is part of the circle of life. According to WWF, the last documented time a wolf attacked a human was over 200 years ago.

Left Party Unwilling To Change The Law

According to Helgesen, shooting the wolves would be illegal. The Left Party isn’t willing to make changes to the Nature Management Act. Without the Left Party on board, they don’t have the majortiy vote, which is needed to change the act.

Helgesen promises that it will eventually be easier to get a permit to kill wolves that pose a threat.

“Killing wolves isn’t out of the question. We are going to have a low threshold, and we will consider lowering it even more. We will also strengthen efforts to assess and monitor the species. If a wolf acts as a threat near a kindergarten or another populated area, we will not hesitate to remove it,” Helgesen said in press conference on January 4th according to VG.

That’s Not The Reality

Former Right Party politician Sissel Frang Rustad doesn’t believe that the lower threshold will solve the problem. When VG asked what she thought about making it easier to get a permit to kill a wolf that is a threat she replied,

“That’s not the reality. When a wolf goes into a yard or attacks an animal, it takes a long time to get a hunting permit, and in that time the wolf can cause a lot of harm.”

No Comment From The Prime Minister

When NRK asked Prime Minister Erna Solberg if she thinks wolves that kill pets right outside of houses should be shot she replied,  

“It is under consideration. The Nature Inspectorate has gone into this individual case, where there is a desire for a hunting permit. It will be determined by the administration and is not something I should comment on. In areas with aggressive wolves and lots of wolves, we must have some criteria to remove wolves even though there is no potential of them harming sheep. We must have criteria of where to draw the line, and then this, harming and killing dogs, will perhaps be a criteria.”

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