Sweden mulls tougher laws against illegal wolf hunting
Jan 10, 2011, 12:23 GMT
Stockholm - The Swedish government wants 'tougher' legislation against illegal hunting of wolves, Environment Minsiter Andreas Carlgren said Monday, on the eve of this year's licensed wolf hunt.
During the month-long hunt that opens Saturday, hunters will be allowed to shoot 20 wolves.
The Swedish National Council for Crime Prevention has estimated that between 25 and 35 wolves are killed illegally each year.
In an op-ed article Carlgren observed that illegal hunting was 'extensive' but only a few cases are brought to justice. A gross offence, as is always the case in illegal wolf hunting, carries a jail term of between six months and four years.
Carlgren later told Swedish radio news that legislation planned to be in place by 2012 would allow police to search hunting cabins and vehicles if they suspect illegal hunting is being planned.
'At present they have to wait until the crime has been carried out (to do so),' he added.
Last year the licensed quota was 27 wolves, when the Scandinavian country held its first licensed wolf hunt in four decades.
Conservationists have criticized the decision to allow a second licensed hunt, saying it threatened an endangered species.
There are believed to be around 200 wolves in Sweden.
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