Agency fails to report animal rail accidents in Sweden

Are faulty computer systems to blame for the under reporting of train collisions with wildlife? (Henrik Svensson/Sveriges Radio)
Are faulty computer systems to blame for the under reporting of train collisions with wildlife? (Henrik Svensson/Sveriges Radio)
The Swedish Transport Administration fails to report many rail accidents involving wild animals, causing them to suffer a slow and painful death.

Research shows that Sweden’s rails are more dangerous than roads for wild animals, with a higher rate of accidents per kilometer. Despite a legal obligation to inform the police about these rail incidents, most of them go unreported, Swedish Radio News reports.

“We have suspected this, but had no evidence,” police inspector Göran Magnusson says.

100 incidents with wild animals last year

Göransson tells Swedish Radio News that only one accident per month is reported to them, while the Swedish Transport Administration registered some 100 incidents with wild animals last year.

The situation has been going on for several years, so it is hard to tell how many animals have suffered a painful death after being hit by a train.

Transport officials say that the negligence has to do with their faulty computer systems, which force them do to the reports manually.

According to Anders Sjölund, an ecologist at the Swedish Transport Administration, their computer systems are being upgraded and should start working in 2016.

Related stories from around the North:

Canada: Nunavut Canada community revives eiderdown business, Eye on the Arctic

Finland: Up to 500 reindeer killed annually by trains – no fences planned, Yle News

Greenland:  Greenland sled dogs share DNA with today’s canine companions, Radio Sweden

Norway:  Norway’s radioactive reindeer, Barents Observer

Russia:  Service reindeer for police in Russia’s Arctic, Barents Observer

Sweden: High-speed train kills 54 reindeer in Arctic Sweden, Radio Sweden

United States: Alaska community gets into reindeer meat market, Alaska Dispatch News

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