Wolf hunters in Sweden told to hold their fire

Wolf hunter in Hasselforsreviret, central Sweden, on January 15, 2011. AFP PHOTO / SCANPIX SEWEDEN / ANDERS WIKLUNDThe Swedish wolf hunt, which started last week after being approved by the Environmental Protection Agency, has been halted following an appeal by the Society for the Conservation of Nature.

“We are very pleased that the legality of the hunt will be tried in court. Now, the EPA’s decision will be examined, which at the same time means that there will be an examination into whether Swedish law lives up to EU law,” Mikael Karlsson, chairman of the Society for the Conservation of Nature, said in a statement.

On Wednesday last week, the Environmental Protection Agency gave the go-ahead for a restricted wolf hunt in selected areas in the regions of Dalarna, Värmland, Örebro and Västmanland.

“The hunters now have to put their rifles down,” Oscar Alarik, a lawyer at the Society for the Conservation of Nature, told Swedish Radio News.

He is pleased that the hunt has been halted.

“If all 16 wolfs are shot then there is no point really in trying the case later, because then they are all gone. We have very strong reasons for believing that these 16 wolfs, three of whom have been shot, are of great value for the wolf population.”

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