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Parliamentary questions
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11 September 2009
Answer given by Mr Dimas on behalf of the Commission
Question reference: E-3765/2009

As stated in the reply to Written Question E‑3942/08(1) by Ms Hassi, the Commission is aware of the decline in the wolf population and requested the competent authorities in Finland to confirm the reported decline, explain the reasons that contributed to this unfavourable development and provide information on the actions the authorities intend to take.

The Finnish authorities confirmed the decline in wolf population and stated that the detected population decline had been caused mainly by illegal killing of wolves. The Commission was provided with documentation proving substantial illegal hunting taking place in Finland and the Commission shares the assessment from Finland that poaching is the main reason for this wolf population decline. The Finnish authorities also presented new provisions regulating the hunting and killing of wolves in Finland which are in conformity with the Court ruling (C‑342/05). The Commission believes that these provisions represent an acceptable framework for a controlled management of the Wolf population.

The Finnish authorities furthermore informed the Commission that Finland is taking a number of specific measures aimed at increasing the acceptability of Wolf conservation by local population, improving the reliability of estimations of populations of large carnivores' populations in Finland and enhancing the cooperation between different actors to prevent poaching. A reform of the Police act is being considered in order to allow the police to use more efficient measures to prevent and investigate crimes related to poaching.

The Commission is still unsatisfied with the current trend of the Wolf population in Finland. It will therefore closely monitor the effects of the measures taken by Finland. Should it appear that no improvement of the situation is being achieved, the Commission will not hesitate taking appropriate legal steps.


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