Target: Swedish Environment Minister Lena Ek
Goal: Ban countrywide hunting of endangered wolves in Sweden
Swedish officials have planned a countrywide wolf hunt for February 1, 2014. Being targeted are gray wolves, which are still considered by Sweden to be endangered. Environment Minister Lena Ek claims the hunt is designed to decrease the wolf population to a more manageable number. However, the courts declared last February that hunts like these are not the best way to deal with concerns about the wolf population, especially since the country is comparatively sparsely populated (there are roughly 350 endangered gray wolves). What this hunt really comes down to is a political move designed to please pro-hunting voters. Sign this petition to stop this hunt – the existence of these gray wolves should not be gambled away for potential votes.
This would be the first licensed wolf hunt in Sweden since 2011 and is aimed at killing approximately 30 wolves. By doing so, those who created this hunt are hoping to lower the wolf population to roughly 170 in the country. Environmentalists who are launching an appeal to stop the hunt state this is not proven to be a sustainable number for the gray wolves that were nearly eliminated in Western Europe. Mikael Karlsson of the Swedish Society for Natural Conservation is certain this hunt is more about politics than about science supporting a change in the wolf population.
Further evidence shows the 2011 hunt was also cancelled because of the threat of legal action from the European Commission. Under the 1979 Burne Convention—an agreement Sweden signed—the hunting of wolves is prohibited. Tom Arnbom, an expert on predators at Sweden’s World Wildlife Fund (WWF) stated, “It’s deplorable that the [Swedish] government is consciously undermining the whole EU legal system that should protect endangered species.”
This endangered wolf hunt should not be allowed to happen. As the Swedish courts stated last year, it is not the proper way to address concerns about the wolf population, especially because it could carry large ramifications from the European Commission. Most importantly of all, the lives of 30 endangered animals should not be sacrificed to pacify the votes of those who are pro-hunting. This wolf hunt isn’t about protecting wildlife but rather ensuring positions in political offices. Sign this petition to save these wolves from being pawns in an unfair political game.
Dear Minister Ek,
I recently learned about Sweden’s wolf hunt that is currently planned for February 2014. I am highly concerned as to why this is taking place. While the wolf population is larger than it has been in some years, a massive hunt does not appear to be the right answer.
First, these wolves are endangered. Decreasing their population is exactly the opposite of what should be done to help these animals. Second, you stated that this action was supposed to help cull the wolf population, leading to a better future for wolves down the road. However many environmentalists have failed to find the scientific evidence that backs up this claim. Third, the killing of wolves is expressly prohibited under the 1979 Burne Convention, of which Sweden is a party.
I am sending this letter to support the cancellation of this hunt. Please consider a better course of action for these endangered wolves and for the country of Sweden.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Tambako the Jaguar via Flickr