Letter to the EU Commission: Action must be taken now on wolves in Finland
Finland's wolf policy is trapped in the race between game management, administrative rights and those defending nature, as well as wolf poaching.
The wolf is a strictly protected and highly endangered species in Finland, but his future is a cause of serious concern due to wolf hunting permits issued by the Finnish Game Center and to poaching.
Finnish wolf policy violates the EU Habitats Directive
According to the EU Habitats Directive, wolf hunting can only be allowed if no other solution can be found to solve conflict with farmers The hunting of wolves must also not have a negative impact on the population levels and threaten the species’ conservation.
The natural distribution of wolves should not be reduced. Exemptions to kill entire herds of wolves are contrary to the rulings of the European Court of Justice and EU lawFrancisco Sánchez Molina, Luonto-Liitto
In the new EU Biodiversity Strategy the European Commission committed to keep existing environmental policies strong and stimulate enforcement and implementation of the Habitats Directive.
The goals in terms of conservation status of protected European species are ambitious: Member States are requested to not deteriorate the conservation trends and status of protected species, like the wolf.
We expect to see the EC translating this ambition into concrete action and request the Finnish authorities to align their wolf management policies to the EU legislation and the Biodiversity Strategy's requirements.
On the ground experiences have already shown that coexistence with large carnivores and non-lethal management of conflicts are possible and the only smart way forward.Reineke Hameleers, CEO of Eurogroup for Animals