Vidar Helgesen, the Norwegian Minister for the Environment chose to decline the proposed license to kill four families of wolves in the county of Hedmark, Norway.
300 hunters were granted licenses to kill the 32 wolves, following Christmas.
The Minister said the legal department in his ministry has concluded that neither Norwegian environmental law, nor the so-called Bern Convention would allow the killing of such a large number of wolves, unless they prey on domestic animals.
This means that the Government has accepted the official protest to the department by the Norwegian Nature Conservation Society (NNCS) who had protested against the proposed license to kill the wolves.
Sadly, there are 15 young lone wolves who were not pardoned and who travel further than the packs and who are alleged to be more likely to kill livestock. However, because the first decision was that all 47 wolves would be killed, this is still a massive victory.
There are an estimated 68 wolves in Norway, and the law states that culling can only be granted if there is a satisfactorily documented risk of damage to livestock. This proved not to have been the case with the 32 wolves from four packs in the county of Hedmark.
Animal advocates and environmentalists had been aggressively protesting against the proposed license. More than 70,000 Norwegians had signed a petition to the Ministry, and more than 7,000 In Defense of Animals supporters had sent individual e-mails. A massive demonstration was also held in Oslo, the capital of Norway.
Source: In Defense of Animals