LARS MAGNUS HAGELSTAM
Göksgränden 12, 02580 Sjundeå
Mr. Pierre Schellekens
Dear Mr. Schellekens,
In his letter addressed to me of 23 June, 2005, Mr. Dimas expressed his view that the protection of species must take into account the various human dimensions, including safety of citizens and that the Commission believes that a solution can be found that respects both the concern of citizens and the conservation of wolves. Unfortunately, there is no sign of this happening.
Since Mr. Dimas sent the letter, the Commission has sued Finland for authorizing the killing of wolves and the ministry of agriculture and forestry has submitted a management plan for the wolf to the Commission.
Below, I try to describe the reality on the ground, the development of the situation and the forces that steer it. Wherever possible, I cite my sources and their contact information for easy corroboration of facts and further, independent investigation.
In order for you to understand what is happening, a brief description of rural societies is necessary.
Finnish rural communities are tightly knit societies. Hunting, fishing and gathering are important both economically and socially. Many keep hunting dogs and these are regarded as family members. Hunting rights belong to the landowner and may be exercised by persons that have passed a hunter’s exam and who belongs to a one of the 1.600 Game Management Associations (Viltvårdsförening), each of which reports to a regional Game Management District (Viltvårdskrets). Most hunting is carried out with a single dog, the main types being suomenajokoira, Finnish Hound which drives hare and fox by tracking, harmaanorjanhirvikoira, Norwegian Elkhound grey which tracks and stops moose and suomenpystykorva, Finnish Spitz which barks at black grouse and capercailzies sitting in trees. Small game is hunted free of licenses in season, alone or in groups of 2-5 hunters.
Moose licenses, about 70.000 annually, are awarded by the Game Management Districts to properly organized Moose Hunting Groups on the basis of population counts carried out annually in late winter. Moose is hunted by big groups of men and some dogs over large tracts of land. Moose Hunting Groups have achieved military precision and almost military discipline and hunters are quickly deployed and redeployed over large areas. Quotas and rules are religiously adhered to. This is facilitated by most men having been trained in the conscript army and by the pre-war voluntary defense forces (Skyddkårer). It is common for the Moose Hunting Groups to under apply for licenses to get a better yield next year and for forest owners to press for more moose to be felled. Moose yield an annual 1 million kilos of beef-like meat.
Each Game Management Associations appoints a Predator Contact Person (Rovdjurskontaktperson) who collects all observations of predators made in his area. Thus, practically every part of the country is under surveillance and the wolves as well as the moose are known almost down to the individual animal. The Game Management Districts annually forward the figures reported by Predator Contact Persons to the , and it reports its finding to the Director of each Game Management District (Viltvårdschef), who are civil servants.
Hunting, gathering and outdoor life in general is central to the fabric of society and the meaning of life for people in rural areas. They would qualify as indigenous people were they not most of them well-to-do and highly educated, and were their ethnicity not that of the overwhelming majority of the citizens of Finland.
Seemingly endless wilderness is, in fact, well tended and well guarded forest with GSM coverage. No vehicle, man, or beast can move there without being observed by somebody. Anything out of the ordinary is reported by cell phone and becomes common knowledge in an instant. In Ruokolahti, for instance, school transport for children is arranged only when wolves are in the area – there are always one or several persons in the forest, they keep watch and report by cell phone to the Community center, which in turn alerts the taxis.
In such communities, children and adolescents move alone for long distances in complete safety – on foot, on bicycle and on skis, on roads and through forests, in daytime and at night, in winter and in summer.
This way of live has evolved since the wolf was removed from the living environment in the late 19th century. In 1881, the predecessor of today’s ministry of agriculture and forestry, the agriculture expedition of the Imperial Senate, decided to bankroll and to organize the removal of the wolf because of the enormous damage it caused to livestock, its recurring eating of children and its spreading of rabies. Since then, wolves have been kept at bay through constant vigilance. Finland is the only part of the territory of the former Russian empire where this has ever succeeded.
According to the plan, the wolf shall be allowed to spread to the whole country, including its densely populated areas. The plan addresses the safety of citizens as follows: ”The existence of wolves influences human activities in many ways, such as the keeping of dogs and other house animals, but also on how children are allowed to move outdoors. Even as the wolf has not been reported to have attacked a human in Finland in over a hundred years, people still do not trust that the wolf is not dangerous and fear the wolf (Lumiaro 1997, Bisi & Kurki 2005). The background of this is among other things fairy-tales and myths, but also real cases of children being killed during the 19th century. Many municipalities have arranged school transport for children because of the danger of wolves, which causes additional costs to the municipalities.”
The report fails to discuss the aspect of the fundamental rights of the citizens although this was a recurring theme during the meetings of officials with the public that preceded the plan. See the report “Susipuhetta Suomessa”, Wolf Talk in Finland. Comments from the public: The city of Fredrikshamn 13.5.2004: “The wolf breaches the sanctity of the home and the protection of property, it makes the rural areas unequal and nobody intervenes. The Finnish authorities have to do something about this, it already breaches the constitution.” The village of Suomussalmi 12.5.2004: “The current legislation is terrorism”. Tohmajärvi 28.4.2004: “The fear of wolves is a reality. In the 1950’s, children were brought to school with horse (sleigh or carriage) because of the danger of wolves, and at that time hunting was free.”
Wolves multiply fast and lose their fear of man. They routinely kill dogs in peoples’ front yard, such as in Ruokolahti, pop. 6.000, where they killed 20 dogs in the space of one year. One single wolf has killed 45 dogs in Norway. Wolves have also specialized on sheep, such as one that has killed about a hundred in Ostrobotnia and on fur animals, such as the one that bit the feet off a large number of blue foxes in their pens. Lately, wolves have been found sitting on the porch of family houses and the inhabitants usher them off with broomsticks. A pack of 15 wolves occasionally hangs around in and around the village of Kuhmo and when they are, children are not allowed out of doors and dogs plainly refuse to go out.
180 applications to kill fearless, threatening or livestock-eating wolves had been submitted by last fall and 155 were refused. The remaining 25 caused the Commission to sue Finland.
Recently, two big wolves settled in and around the center of the city of Kajaani, pop. 36.000. Authorization to kill them was quickly awarded and they were shot even before having killed their first family dog. The point was not missed that wolves are permitted to terrorize the population in rural areas but not that of the cities.
I let two ladies from Sweden express how affected people feel about having wolves in the neighborhood. Feel free to have the original Swedish texts below translated into English.
”Marie i Risa” wrote the following letter to the editor of Mora Tidning on January 30th, 2006. Download from www.folkaktionen.com.
“Vem garanterar barnens säkerhet?
Jag blir så ledsen när jag läser alla notiser i tidningarna. Jag undrar om ni som skriver har barn, hundar, eller andra djur som ni vill vistas med utomhus? Bor ni i centrum och aldrig är ute i naturen själva? Ska alla bo i centrum? Ska man inte ha valfriheten att bo i en by utanför Mora? Jag själv bor i Risa alldeles utanför Mora, på en underbar gård och vi har haft vargen på gården, faktiskt tre stycken, i omgångar. Jag känner mig väldigt olustig när jag kommer hem från jobbet på eftermiddagarna och måste gå in och börja med maten till mina barn, som är två och fem år gamla. De vill vara ute och leka tills maten, är klar men jag vill (törs) inte lämna dem ute själva, eftersom jag vet att vi har haft varg på gården i omgångar. Jag vill inte skrämma upp mina barn, så jag nämner ingenting om vad som vandrat över vår gård, men jag kan inte heller förklara för dem varför jag inte vill att de ska få vara ute och leka själva tills maten är klar (det har de fått förr, men då hade vi inte dessa problem med vargarna runt husknuten heller). De älskar att vara ute i snön och leka. Kan någon garantera för mig som orolig mamma att ingenting kommer att hända mina barn när de är ute själva och leker? Naturligtvis har jag koll på dem genom fönstret, men de blir jättearga på mig när de inte får vara ute och leka själva, medan det fortfarande är ljust ute.
Det måste vara något konstigt med vargen, att de går in i byarna. Ska inte de vara skygga djur? Hur kan de vara så vana vid människan som det verkar?
Vi har också två jämthundar som behöver motion. Numera vill vi inte ut i skogen och släppa dem. Hur ska vi motionera dem? Det är inte läge att cykla med dem nu, när det är vinter och snö. Är det inte synd om dem som inte får springa och hålla konditionen uppe?
Allvarligt talat så förstår jag inte vad som har hänt. Att det har blivit sådan explosion av vargar nu. Det är först det gångna året som jag upplever att det har ökat med varg, dessa hundar och kreatur som blivit tagna (i fäbodarna i somras). Det har man knappt hört talas om förr, rivna och dödade hundar.
Våra levande fäbodar är också något som jag är stolt över här i Dalarna, men bönderna verkar ju inte vilja fortsätta med det heller nu framöver, efter det som hänt i somras runt våra fäbodvallar.
Vargen får gärna vara för mig, men inte inne på min gård och den ska inte röra våra hundar heller. Det bästa de vet är att få vara ute i skogen och springa. Ska våra hundar få lov att gå i "pension" nu? De är fyra och sju år gamla.
Sen undrar jag, står ni för det ni skriver i tidningen eftersom ni inte går ut med namn?
Orolig mamma och hundägare, Marie i Risa”
Ms Katarina Pettersson from Ölme in Värmland, Sweden wrote on 25th October, 2002 about her close encounter in her front yard with what later turned out to have been a a wolf. She vividly describes how she instinctively sensed the threat of an attack by a large predator.
“Så här skriver en förtvivlad mor
Hej Malte! (Sandström of www.folkaktionen.com)
Jag bor i Ölme i Värmland där vi nu har den sk Väsevargen.
Den 4/8 var vi ute på gården och målade, killen på baksidan jag på framsidan. barnen var med ute (2st på 6 år, killen är liten till växten och är som en 5 åring)
Klockan var strax innan 17,00 och det var fullt dagsljus ute. Killen gick in i garaget och grejade sedan åkte han till stan jag var kvar på framsidan av huset barnen lekte fortfarande på baksidan, efter en stund gick jag bak för att kolla att allt var bra med dom.
Jag märker då att det är ngt som smiter in i buskarna 4 meter bort från barnen (som är precis vid sin egen husknut och leker). jag reagerade och tyckte att det var konstigt för att det hördes inget brak, alltså inget av rådjuren som brukar kunna vara nära.( även om det är dagsljus så är det här en skuggig plats från träden). jag står ca 3 meter från buskaget och tar ett halvsteg fram kör in näsan för att titta vad det kunde vara för djur och får då en våg av vibrationer och hot emot mig (detta är ju en känsla som är svår att få ner i ord, det måste upplevas för att förstås).
Jag ryggade tillbaka på ren instinkt och kände en extremt intensiv blick som bedömde och mätte mig. Detta kom en liten bit till höger från det ställe där djuret smet in. Jag svarade på dom vibrationerna och signalerna jag fick och var beredd på att det skulle komma ut över mig. Jag sökte inte ngn ögonkontakt vilket jag hade kunnat fått om jag hade vridit huvudet mera till höger men jag hade blicken fast där djuret smet in i buskaget och jag ville inte se vad det var, även det gick på instinkt och jag uppfattar även nu att jag gjorde rätt för efter en stund drog den sig tillbaka. Alltså så bedömde den läget att jag skulle försvara mina barn vilket jag också skulle ha gjort med mina bara händer.
Detta är en upplevelse som det tar lite tid samt svårt att smälta. jag berättade ingenting för killen alls den kvällen utan nästa kväll berättade han för mig att en granne hade berättat för honom att dom hade spårat 2st vargar som dragit kött alldeles utanför oss. Då fattade jag att det var en varg som var i buskarna och berättade för honom vad som hade hänt och att barnen inte får vara ute själva längre.
(..) Vi som bor i dessa områden har ingen/ingenstans att vända oss allt tystas ner.
(..) Jag tror även att en del kan ha lite roligt åt mig och tycka att jag är nojig, men själv tycker jag att jag är skyldig mina och andras barn att försöka göra något men det är svårt som privat person. Jag tycker att det är hemskt att det ska vara så här i dagens Sverige år 2002. Jag röstade inte i år - jag tyckte det var ett hån.
Med Vänlig Hälsning
As explained below, there are different races of wolves. I here discuss the Northern/Siberian grey wolf. There is little experience of such wolves losing their fear of man in Russia where they are hunted all year and with all means except poison. In Finland, a significant and protected wolf population has only existed for a few years.
Long term experience of protected wolves is found in natural parks in Alaska and in Canada. “Nearly all the wolf attacks on record from the past 20 years have involved what rangers at Algonquin Provincial Park in Ontario, Canada, have taken to calling "fearless wolves" -- those habituated to people. (..) park policy now is to kill any wolves that show signs of fearlessness.”
See http://www.natureswolves.com/human/fear.htm (site down at the time of sending this message).
Ms Raila Ahonen certainly told you personally about being surrounded and pursued by wolves while horse riding when you met on January, 13th.
When Mr. Veikko Kokko of Tohmajärvi, +358-40-5352935, was out bird hunting last fall, a pack of eight wolves attacked his dog. When he approached to chase them away, seven approached him in a semi-circle with a friendly, doggy air. He then looked behind him and saw the eighth sneaking up behind him. He fired his shotgun and the wolves fled.
Read more about attacks and threatening behavior:
Historically, wolves rarely resort to man-eating but it has occurred often enough to present a real danger, especially to children.
On October 19th, 2005 the historian Dr. Antti Lappalainen (firstname.lastname@example.org, +35895416946) published his research findings on lethal wolf attacks on humans in Finland under the title “Suden jäljet”, the Tracks of the Wolf, ISBN 952-5118-79-7. By going through old church records and newspapers, Dr. Lappalainen found a total of 193 lethal attacks from 1650 onwards, of which 110 children who fell victim to predatory attacks and 83 adults, all of whom probably fell victim to attacks by rabid wolves. Of the cases Mr. Lappalainen found, 139 occurred between 1802 and 1881 - 78 children and 61 adults. During the seven year period from 1844–1850 twenty five children and two adults were killed and during the four year period from 1877–1881 twenty nine children and three adults. From the beginning of the 19th century, the tragedies were reported and described in newspapers. The church records only state the name, the age, the parents’ names, the home village and the cause of death of the victims.
The population of Finland at the beginning of the 19th century was 1 million and at its end 2 million. Roughly speaking, the victims 1802- 1881 were culled from an average population of 1,5 million. A corresponding culling from the population of the EU of 450 million would be: In the space of 80 years 23.400 children killed and eaten by healthy wolves and 18.300 adults killed, some of them eaten by healthy wolves, others killed by rabid wolves, i.e. not eaten but later dead from infection. During the worst periods, 7.500 children were killed in the space of seven years then 8.700 children were killed in the space of four years. Because of the public outcry fomented by the nascent press, the Agricultural Expedition of the Imperial Senate, the predecessor today’s Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, organized and financed the removal of the wolf from the Finnish living environment.
In parts of Finland, Dr. Lappalainen found no human victims of wolves while man-eating was a recurring phenomenon in others.
Finland is a minuscule part of the natural range of the Northern/Siberian grey wolf and only scant information is available on its human victims in Russia. Available sources indicate the obvious - the same wolves behave in a similar way on both sides of the human border. The renowned Swedish zoologist Kjell Kotlhoff, an authority in his field at the turn of the 19th to 20th century and the founder the Skansen museum in Stockholm, mentioned in his book Vårt Villebråd, Our Wildlife, (1914) reports that the Russian government had doubled the premium for killing a wolf to ten rubles after 203 persons had been killed in the European part of Russia in 1889.
It is difficult to learn about human victims to wolves in Russia today as no statistics are kept and cases rarely are reported even in local newspapers. There are, however, indications that tragedies occur. In 2005, a gentleman from a town in Russian Carelia called Mr. Ismo Karppinen (+358-44-3742261, email@example.com) whom you met together with Ms Ahonen. The gentleman told him about a man recently having been killed and eaten by wolves in Russian Carelia when his tractor was bogged down on a forest road. Mr. Karppinen, having other things on his mind, did not write down the name or the phone number of the caller. Mr. Eirik Granqvist (+358-40-8466881, firstname.lastname@example.org) was told about a nine-year old girl having been killed by wolves in the same area in 2002. He did not write down the source either.
Looking at history, the picture becomes fairly clear: Wolves may specialize on a large variety of prey but usually stick to one or a few familiar species. They try other prey when they need a new source of food – or when the see a risk-free opportunity. Man-eating often commences in late summer or in fall when the pups require a lot of food but still need care which impedes hunting over large areas. A wolf that successfully has killed a child quickly specializes on this prey and becomes extremely skilful both at killing children and at avoiding getting killed itself. This explains the series of human victims such as in the most famous cases: Gévaudan, France 1764 –1767, >100 victims, Gysingen, Sweden 1820-21, 31 victims, Turku, Finland 1880-81, 22 victims, and Kirov, Russia 1944-53, 26 victims.
Children are mostly killed in the immediate vicinity of their home by a single wolf in ambush that carries the victim away too fast for adults to intervene and then eat it, often alive and from the legs up. The average age of the 78 children killed and eaten by wolves in Finland 1802-81 was 5,9 years. Adults are sometimes killed by packs of wolves, mostly in winter. Most wolf-killed adults die from infection after being bitten by rabid wolves.
There appears to be a strong correlation between loss of fear of man and man-eating behavior. ( See Attacks on humans by wolves above), much stronger than with starvation. During the 18th and 19th centuries, large packs of wolves assembled in winter, desperate with hunger, but most never attacked a human (See for instance historical accounts from Sweden retold by Mr. Evert Pousette in his book “De människoätande vargarna”, 1989, ISBN 91 86742 34 5, procure from Carolina Böcker och Konst, +46-739-052370). Dr. Lappalainen found that most of the tragedies in Finland occurred in areas where wolf hunting was inefficient or lacking and Michail Pavlov reports the same in his book “Volk”, Wolf, (1990). He served in the Kirov area when wolves killed and eat 26 persons 1944–53 and made a number of unsuccessful attacks on humans. Soon after the hunters had left for the front, wolves became unafraid, killed dogs in the front yards and walked the streets as they do in Finland today and a couple of years later attacked the first child. See excerpt from the book book “Volk”, Wolf, by Michail Pavlov, excerpts in Swedish in “Vargens Näringssök och Människan” by Elis Pålsson (PB Brännhult 30 S-34390 Älmhult, +46-476-71210) download from www.locomail.com/vargen).
An idea is systematically spread that only nature untouched by man is real nature and that the presence of man is destroying its precious balance. I henceforth call this idea ecotheology. Mr. Kari Heliövaara (+358-500-459617, email@example.com), leader of the institution of applied biology of the university of Helsinki put it like this on the phone: “The wolf has the right to live and is part of nature, contrary to man who just multiplies and presses on”.
A similar conclusion from the US: “The deep ecology movement has decided that man's presence, participation in, and stewardship of nature is unnatural and all wild places must be off limits to human activity.” Copied from http://www.klamathbasincrisis.org/wolves/yellowstone060102.htm.
The wolf is a totem animal to the rank and file of this movement, and for its leaders an efficient biological weapon to drive out man and create new areas of untouched nature. This view is rarely expressed frankly and openly but I have found the following two examples:
The environmental philosopher Leena Vilkka, member of the Finnish Academy in the magazine “Yliopisto”, University 10/2001: “The fear of wolves may, however, be well founded in areas where the ranges of wolf and man intersect. (..) Man and wolf are not intended to live together; an alternative that respects nature would be to give way to the wolf. The State could even guarantee housing in wolf-free areas to the persons who move out. In this way we could finally get human-free areas where the wolf can live in peace.”
“Mike Phillips, the movie star handsome, media savvy biologist who introduced the wolf into Yellowstone Park in 1995 spoke to a group of 600 people from 44 states and 24 countries in Duluth, MN. February 24, 2000. He said the goal of wolf introduction was to drive 30,000 ranchers from public lands. His power point presentation was video taped by the University of Minnesota and the International Wolf Center, Ely, Minnesota reported 2/25 /00 on Page A20 of the "Minnesota Star Tribune," and the May edition of "Wyoming Agricultural." Three of "Friends of the Northern Yellowstone Elk Herd" paid $206 to attend. Bob Hanson a retired investment banker memorialized the remarks in affidavit form. Now, fully realizing the implication of making those remarks in a public forum Phillips vehemently denies he made them. ”
Copied from http://www.klamathbasincrisis.org/wolves/yellowstone060102.htm.
As I show with examples below, the Finnish environmental NGOs, the ministry of the envirornment and, to some extent, the ministry of agriculture and forestry and the Commission itself have fallen under the control of ecotheologists. In consequence, their impressive propaganda machine and other activites can be bankrolled with public funds.
In February, a large wolf happening will take place in Helsinki with a wolf opera, a nationwide wolf howling contest etc. See the web pages http://www.sudenaani.org. The announcement of a panel discussion is illustrated with the picture below, which shows that well-fed and well-cared-for wolves in captivity, especially females, can display dog-like affection to humans. Its propaganda message is obvious.
The main Finnish wolf homepage is www.tunturisusi.fi.
A French homologue is http://www.loup.org
The International Wolf Specialist group was founded in 1973 in Stockholm. Today it is a branch of the IUNC. The group is currently chaired by professor David Mech of USA. Professor Erkki Pulliainen of Finland is a founding member. Since its foundation, the group has worked for the reintroduction of wolves in the populated areas of the US and the EU. They and their followers adhere to the following postulates:
1) Wolves do not attack humans.
2) The wolf is an endangered species.
3) A wolf population must not be culled.
The following excerpt from http://www.klamathbasincrisis.org/wolves/yellowstone060102.htm describes how the group works in the US.
“Aldo Leopold, conservationist and bio-ethicist was born in 1887, the dawn of Theodore Roosevelt's conservation movement. At that time game herds, predators and natural resources were decimated to the point of crisis. Leopold wrote "you cannot love the game but hate the predators. You can regulate them, but not abolish them." Wolf recovery advocates aspire to be apostles of Leopold. L. David Mech, the wolf biologist, for the past thirty years is his best-known disciple. Mech wrote in his book "The Wolf," that, "unfortunately, there still exists in certain elements of human society an attitude that any animal (except man) that kills another is a murderer ... To these people, the wolf is a most undesirable creature," fostering an attitude of us versus them, he went on to write "these people cannot be changed." If the wolf is to survive the wolf haters must be out numbered. They must be out financed, and out voted." You're either a wolf hater or you're in complete agreement with their science, values, press releases, tactics and philosophy. This leaves those of us who live in wolf country following the revolution in quite a dilemma. How do you clean up the mess made by zealots who overreached and exceeded the instructions of Congress and the parameters set by their own PH.D.s, known as the Delphi 15. What Mech forgot to mention is that since 1937, when the Pittman Robertson Act began collecting $6 billion from sportsmen, that Americas' game herds are in the best shape ever. Despite this fact, wolf advocates who want to feed our wildlife to their wolves are convinced that they and only they should have the exclusive say in Leopolds' version of regulation. When wolf advocates control the regulatory process, agendas and values that are anti-ranching, anti-property rights, and anti-hunting can be implemented.”
The parallells to the situation in Finland I describe below are obvious.
Human considerations are alien to the ecotheologist movement and it does not hesitate to use lies, misleading half-truths, threats, pressure and other similar means to further its cause.
With the examples below, I try to make obvious and irrefutable the unbelievable - that Finnish conservation authorities, scientists and publicly funded conservation organizations are producing slanted and outright false information to the Commission, presenting the wolf as an endangered species and one that the rural population can learn to live with.
MP, professor Erkki Pulliainen gave an interview to the newspaper Demari of the Finnish Social Democratic Party which was published on October 27th, 2005, shortly after the suit of the Commission had hit the headlines: “Pulliainen recently attended an international wolf congress in the US, in which it turned out that no healthy, unhurt wolf has attacked a human anywhere in the world during the last century (..) Pulliainen smiles that the danger of wolves is a well tried method to get transport (paid by the municipality) for the kids from the front door, if the requirement of the law of a five kilometer way to school is not fulfilled.” (See “The management plan…” above). Mr. Ilpo Kojola, special researcher at the Finnish Game and Fisheries Research Institute (F.G.F.R.I.), attended the congress with Mr. Pulliainen.
Even if the Wolf Specialist Group is ignorant or does not recognize even the documented man-eating in Russia during and after WWII, nor the non-lethal attacks documented in Canada, it cannot be ignorant of the fact that wolves killed 92 children in the Indian province of Hazaribagh in 1989-1995 – the president of the Wolf Specialist Group of the IUNC, professor David Mech, visited the location and reported that the tragedies had taken place.
I called attention to these facts in an article that Demari published shortly thereafter. Mr. Pulliainen maintained silence – both publicly and privately.
After Ms Raila Ahonen was surrounded and pursued by three wolves when horse riding close to her home in Jämsä in December, 2005, the leading daily newspaper Aaamulehti asked the special researcher of the Finnish Game and Fisheries Research Institute of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, Mr. Ilpo Kojola for his comments. He did not believe that the wolves would have attacked Raila if she had fallen from the horse. Ha was also reported saying that a horse is too hard a resistance for wolves. I commented on his statement in an article published in several newspapers under the headline Wolf lies of the predator researcher. I pointed out that wolves killed 2.865 horses in Finland 1858-62 and 2.563 in 1878–87. His threat to sue for public slander has not materialized so far. I also pointed out the obvious risk of attack when a human falls in front of a pack of wolves pursuing a prey.
The border guards observe and report the movements of large predators across the Russian border and some results are published on the pro-wolf site www.tunturisusi.fi . Mr. Kojola of the F.G.F.R.I. did not have the resulting statistics but said that Mr. Pulliainen should know. After months of investigations captain Matti Shemeikka of the (+358-204103023, firstname.lastname@example.org) provided the answer: The formulars are sent to the university of Helsinki, institution for applied biology. (Kari Heliövaara+358-500-459617, email@example.com). - They should have the statistics.
A call to the institution revealed that they forward the envelopes unopened to MP Pulliainen personally to his address at Parliament. Nobody knew on whose instructions this was done. When asked about the reasons for this secrecy by the leading daily Aamulehti, professor Pulliainen replied: “Lest the information gets into the wrong hands”.
When captain Shemeikka received the formulas for 2005, he received the results for 2004. A total of 148 wolves had crossed the border a total of 1.951 times. The net immigration was 113 individuals.
There is some logic to the figures. The minimum factor for the 300 strong wolf population in Russian Carelia has practically always been food – moose, deer and reindeer are very scarce. In Finland, where wolves have been scarce until recently, there is an abundance of big game. Wolverines give birth to up to 8-12 pups so and an annual increase of the population of 30% is quite feasible.
As mentioned above, the Finnish Game and Fisheries Research Institute does not possess these figures and does not comment on border traffic or immigration by wolves.
During the last few years, the figures returned to the Directors of the Game Management Districts (see rural society above) have had little resemblance to the figures sent in by the Predator Contact Persons. Mr. Ismo Karppinen (+358-44-3742261, firstname.lastname@example.org) of the Kuhmo area reports as follows:
The Predator Contact Persons in the Kuhmo area went on strike in 2004 in protest against the F.G.F.R.I. hiding facts and doctoring their figures. After its responsible Mr. Kojola promised improvement in a meeting with the ministry of agriculture and forestry, they resumed their unpaid work. At the time of writing, the promises given have been broken.
According to the F.G.F.I there were 7 wolves in the Kuhmo area in the winter 2003/04. At that time, the Predator Contact Persons had identified 25.
In late 2004, Mr. Kojola informed the ministry of agriculture and forestry that there are 20-25 wolves in the Kuhmo area. Mr. Ronkainen, an assistant of Mr Kojola said there will be no more as the territories are full, the packs will defend them and supplementary wolves will have to find new territories. That year, the Predator Contact Persons had identified 41 wolves.
In late 2005 Mr. Kojola reported 40-45 wolves in the Kuhmo area while the Predator Contact Persons had identified 77.
Not trusting Mr. Kojola, the Predator Contact Persons in the 7 Game Management Districts of the eastern wolf management area recently compared their figures of late 2005. They had identified a total of 299 wolves in the Kainuu area.
At the time of writing, Mr. Kojola has employed one person for two months to count the wolves in the whole Kainuu area, apparently not trusting the figures reported by the 160 Predator Contact Persons in the area. Private land owners refuse him the right to move on snowmobile on their lands and all the logging roads have been closed with booms – the Game Management Associations are convinced that the task of this man is to provide an alibi for Mr. Kojola to doctor the population figures once more and they refuse all cooperation. Even with free access to logging roads and forest, finding and counting the wolves in the large Kainuu area in two months is a hopeless task for one man.
In 2004, a workgroup of the Ministry of the environment led by Mr. Pertti Rassi announced that the wolf population in Finland is to be classified as extremely endangered. Because of closeness to Russia, they downclassed it to endangered. They announced that they were applying the criteria of the IUNC.
After the Commission sued Finland on the basis of this assessment, the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry applied the same criteria to calculate the minimum level for a favorable conservation status of the wolf in Finland. The result was 1.000 multiplying wolves. With a normal proportion of sexually immature individuals, it added up to 3.000 wolves. That is roughly the number of wolves living in Russia north of the 60th parallel (see map of the wolf population in the Soviet Union in 1980, published in Prof. Bibikovs book “Volk”, Wolf, on page 10/50 of “Vargens Näringssök och Människan” by Elis Pålsson (PB Brännhult 30 S-34390 Älmhult, +46-476-71210) download from www.locomail.com/vargen). The map shows that the bulk of the 77.000 wolves in the USSR live more to the south.
Note: Below is a number of excerpts from the recent correspondence between Mr. Tapani Veistola, Nature conservation secretary of the Finnish Association for Nature Conservation (+358-9-22808266) and Mr. Jan-Erik Ingvall (email@example.com, +358-50-5583111) who, after 15 years of active participation in the Association, sent in his resignation from the Association in protest against its wolf policies. I have selected them, as the positions the Association expresses are fresh after the public debate of the past half year and are formulated in a concise way.
Veistola to Ingvall on January 20th: “At present, the wolf population is too small even genetically. The danger (of extinction) of the wolf in Finland is not removed by the species existing elsewhere. In future, we cannot count on the species being preserved by individuals coming from Russia. On the contrary we should solidify the communication to the Swedish population.” (See more about Sweden below)
A Finnish delegation of wolf researchers some years ago visited Mr. Ernest Ivanter (firstname.lastname@example.org , +79114001960, +7-911400), dean of the faculty of zoology and ecology of the university of Petrozavodsk. They tried to convince him to classify the wolf as endangered in Russian Carelia. He ironically replied that he can supply Finland with as many wolves as it ever wants if there a shortage of them in the country.
Veistola to Ingvall on January, 24th: “The Commission has not proposed a thousand wolves in Finland, it was a misunderstanding of the ministry of agriculture and forestry that the commission rectified, inter alias in (the leading daily) Helsingin Sanomat. The population in Finland is now 200 individuals and the discussion is mainly if we should have at least 20 or 25 multiplying wolf couples.”
One can only wonder at the sudden disappearance of the IUNC criteria.
Veistola to Ingvall on January, 24th: “But concerning the need to spread west is generally agreed, because it eases the pressure in the east.
Cars belonging to the Finnish wolf zoos of Ranua and Ähtäri have been observed on logging roads in Ostrobotnia in western Finland several times (see about rural society above) and shortly thereafter a wolf has appeared close by.
Some wolves in the area are manifestly domesticated - they run after plowing tractors up and down the field as they apparently have learned that a tractor means grub time. It is obvious that a clandestine “military wing” of the conservation movement helps the wolf to spread west by illegal means. I have asked local contact persons to collect affidavits of the persons who have made the observations.
Veistola to Ingvall on January 30th: “That was something – I never heard about such curiosity! (..) I have no information on such movements. That would require authorization. The zoos cannot goof on authorizations, there whole acivity is dependent on authorizations.”
One would expect a leading official of the Finnish Association for Nature Conservation to show some interest in testimony indicating such environmental criminality instead of reacting with total denial. The reaction is similar in Sweden and Norway – the conservation movement and the environmental authorities turn a blind eye to the numerous and credible testimony of wolves systematically being introduced into those countries clandestinely and illegally, obviously financed with substantial sums of unknown origin. See SWEDEN below.
When the famous and well documented man-eating Turku wolves 1880-81 were mentioned in the press, several conservationist, inter alia from the Finnish Association for Nature Conservation wrote articles claiming that they were hybrids.
Mr. Eirik Granqvist (for CV, see http://personal.inet.fi/luonto/mikael.broo/curriculum.htm) then wrote an article in the leading daily Helsingin Sanomat confirming that they had been positively identified as purebred wolves after having been killed and pointed out that two of them still remain, one in the Hunting Museum of Riihimäki, the other in a school in Turku. When the leading daily Turun Sanomat asked the conservator of the zoological museum of Turku, Mr. Ari Karhilahti to comment he said:”If a wolf has attacked a child, the reason might for instance be that a child born out of wedlock was such a big shame that it even was taken to the forest. It was easy to say that the wolf eat it.” The 22 tragedies caused by the Turku wolves are documented in great detail. The average age of the victims was 5,6 year and the name of the father was noted in the church records of the death of each child. Mr. Karhilahti is a disciple of Mr. Eirik Granqvist who did not believe that his sensible disciple would speak such nonsense without being under hard pressure. (See points 10 and 11 below)
The publishing of Dr Lappalainen’s book and the dangerousness of the wolf becoming publicly known has had little effect on the ecotheologists. Veistola to Ingvall on January, 20th:
“A wolf has last attacked man in Finland in the 19th century.”
See the identical text of Ms Helfferich of the Commission below.
“Compared to those times there is, however, a plethora of moose and other natural game of the wolf.”
Wolves not attacking humans if there is game is a pure assumption which, furthermore, is contrary to historical evidence. The lack of concern for the safety of citizens and for human life is blatantly obvious.
“Rabies, which explained about half of the deaths of that time, has now been conquered.”
Rabies has been conquered locally in Finland by spreading inoculating bait that is avidly eaten by foxes, until now the main carriers. Wolves, however, do not eat any scrap they find and rabies exists in both Russia and Estonia. This risk factor has never been mentioned by any authority and no solution to this potential danger has ever been presented. When a rabid wolf bites a person in the neck, no inoculation can save the victim from an unimaginably horrible death.
“Furthermore, in today’s Finland, a wolf that is getting unafraid and attacks man would immediately be removed, and so it should be.”
The cases of both Mr. Veikko Kokko and Raija Ahonen are well known to the local police and to the ministry of agriculture and forestry that issues licenses. The police have done nothing and no licenses to kill the wolves have been forthcoming. Applications for licenses to kill wolves that kill dogs in front yards, sit on porches and also of the pack of 15 that hangs out in the village of Kuhmo have been turned down.
In 2004, the local police chief Bo-Erik Hanses (email@example.com, +358- 407719454 gave orders to kill a sheep-eating and people-disturbing wolf in Ostrobotnia in 2004. Complaints to the Justitieombudsman were made against this. Although he was found not to have broken the law, the general position of the Ombudsman was that the police should intervene only in acute cases and that the running management of problem wolves should be handled in the framework of licenses. See decision 612/4/04 of 25.10.2004.
Practically any license to fell a wolf has so far triggeed complaints to the Commission and its suit against Finland is pending.
“No more can predators specialized on man develop, which almost totally explain half of the human victims of the 19th century.”
For about two decades prior to Finland joining the EU, the wolf was protected. However, as soon as a wolf started causing trouble, license to hunt it was issued without delay. The system worked satisfactorily but, the behavior of the wolf being what it is, very few wolves filled the criteria.
”When licenses are issued for problem individuals coming into people’s yards, and are not squandered on harmless wilderness wolves, the population stays afraid of man.”
Of 180 applications to kill problem wolves, 155 were turned down and 25 were approved. These were the object of complaints to the Commission by ideological allies of the Finnish Association for Nature Conservation and finally brought about a suit by the Commission against Finland.
The position of the Association is obvious: If the wrong wolf is killed or if the Association thinks so, the general population has to bear the consequences.
“One has to be careful with wolves, you must not make them domesticated”
Nobody has made a wolf domesticated. Being a kind of dog, they do it all by themselves unless shot at.
“The fear of wolves of man has been investigated both in Finland and in other countries. For instance in Finland, USA and France the result is the same: Where wolves have existed constantly, people get used to them. The biggest conflict have been in areas, from which the wolf has been removed and to which it is returning. I therefore believe that the situation will calm down with time.”
Mr. Veistola fails to mention that in the areas where wolves have existed constantly, people have always done their best to get rid of them and have adapted their lifestyle to the threat they pose. The Association expresses astounding despotism in assuming that the rural population in Finland over time will resignate to similar limitations in their lifestyle.
Finland, USA and France are areas from where the wolf was removed because its predations on livestock, dogs and people was intolerable in populated areas. In none of these three countries, there are wilderness areas big enough to keep the very mobile wolf inside. See more about France and the US below. In Russia, it is unthinkably impossible to remove the wolf from the vincinity of people, not to mention the enormous areas of wilderness. Mr. Pjotr Danilov (firstname.lastname@example.org , +7-8142-766175) , game researcher at the university of Petrozavodsk in Russian Carelia told me that keeping dogs is becoming impossible because of wolf attacks. – Recently, a wolf even killed a dog in the staircase on the second floor of an apartment building. Occasionally, harassed cattle farmers apply for assistance with military helicopters but usually none are forthcoming these days because of a lack of funds See http://english.pravda.ru/main/2002/12/05/40433.html
The vivid protests of local people are systematically ignored by the environmental movement.
Veistola to Ingvall on January, 27th:”There is such a broad consensus concerning the wolf spreading to western Finland among the interest groups (even conflicting ones) concerned with the wolf issue, that it even was introduced into the management plan”.
There was and is a solid and well known resistance in western Finland to the wolf spreading there. This became evident during the meetings arranged for the public prior to the management plan. See the report “Susipuhetta Suomessa”, Wolf talk in Finland.
In 2004, Ms Eva-Stina Berg, (email@example.com, +358-40-8730399) teacher and communal politician, single-handedly collected 6.000 signatures against the wolf spreading to Ostrobotnia. The address was presented to minister Korekaoja for forwarding to Mr. Dimas. The few local ecotheologists then tried the same and managed to collect 100 signatures for the wolf spreading to Ostrobotnia.
In the 1980’s and early 1990’s, Dr Erik S. Nyholm, researcher at the F.G.F.R.I. and an internationally respected predator researcher, refused to toe the line of the ever stronger ecotheologist movement. A description of how he was discredited and professionally eliminated is found at: http://personal.inet.fi/luonto/mikael.broo / JJ-Artiklar # 53, “. Viltforskarskandal i Finland (1995)”.
Mr. Nyholm was succeeded by Mr. Ilpo Kojola, see varoius points above.
Mr. Eirik Granqvist, (firstname.lastname@example.org, +358-40-8466881), former chief conservator of the zoological museum of the university of Helsinki and highest national authority on the determination of animal species, also resisted the ecotheological movement. When the ministry of the environment in the early 1980’s planned a network of large natural parks with access prohibited except with ministerial permission, he rose up in a meeting of 200 decision makers and declared his resistance to reserving large tracts of land to become private playgrounds of the ministry officials and their friends.
He thereafter came under relentless pressure during a long time, inter alia by Mr. Pertti Rassi (see point 5. above) who with ministry funds seconded two persons full time to the museum to serch for faults in his work. Although this operation ended in a scandal and put great shame on Mr. Rassi, the slander and the pressure continued until Mr. Granqvist finally tired, resigned from his central position and moved to France.
Since these two giants fell, nobody in an official position in Finland has offered active resistance to the ecotheologists.
The wolf protection activistst stop at nothing to present the wolf as a shy animal of the wilderness that avoids man. Its normal predations on livestock and pets are presented as rare exceptions that can be dealt with by scaring the animals away. Its man-eating is explained away first with plain denial, then with blaming hybrids or rabid wolves, then by explaining that the condition here and in our time are such that man-eating is excluded - and finally by pointing out the low number of victims compared to other causes of death. They falsely claim that people happily live with wolves in areas where they have always existed and that the population of Finland will get used to it as well.
With the examples below, I try to make obvious and irrefutable the unbelievable - that the Commission swallows such info uncritically and bases its decisions on it.
The press-secretary of the Commission, Ms Helfferich issued the following statement to the newspaper Vasabladet, which published it on April 13th, 2005: “The EU-commission considers the fear of wolves in Finland to be exaggerated, points out that nobody has been killed by a wolf in Finland for over a hundred years and that it therefore seems that the fear of has been generated with people rather than being based on facts. It has become apparent to the Commission that a well organized lobby in Finland foments fear of wolves for its own ends.”
No such lobby exists, just a growing number private individuals who are furious about the current policies. So far, we lack both organization and funding. The “Suomen Suurpetoyhdistys”, Finland’s Big Predator Society, ( Mr. Juha Säkkinen, email@example.com, +358- 40-5443807) has only a few persons as members as they lack Internet facilities and do not even mail formulas for joining. Networks are forming, however, and sooner or later a political movement will see the light of day.
In his letter to Mr. Mikael Broo A/11604, D/13845 of July 6th,2005, Mr. Hanley points out that “many member countries have larger wolf populations than Finland (Spain 2000, Greece 1000, Italy 400, Portugal 400 etc.), mostly in areas with a much denser habitation, more cultivated land and more cattle than Finland. From reports and other information it seems that these countries manage to relate to the existence of wolves.”
Mr. Hanley seems to be ignorant of the fact that the south European wolf is not at all the same animal as the Northern/Siberian wolf.
The picture below illustrates this point. The wolves in the middle and on the right are from a photograph taken by conservator Eirik Granqvist, (firstname.lastname@example.org, +358-40-8466881) in 2005 at the Darwin Museum in Moscow. The one in the middle is a Northern/Siberian wolf and the one on the right is a South European wolf. The picture to the left shows a man with a Northern/Siberian wolf to give an idea of its size. A wolf recently shot after it established its territory in the area of the city of Kajaani measured a height of 77 cm at the shoulder and a length of 165 cm. Another recently shot in Norway weighed 63 kg. Admittedly, not all northern wolves reach such size.
Mr. Hanley further avoids mentioning that the protection status of the wolf in Greece and in Spain is similar to that in the reindeer herding areas in Finland, which makes it easier to eliminate problem wolves without getting sued by the Commission.
Today, the existence of different types of wolves seems to be well known at the Commission. This is due to one private individual, Mr. Eirik Granqvist, taking the trouble to point it out. The established scientists in Finland and in the Commission were either ignorant or did not wish it to become public knowledge. See FRANCE below on small, reddish Italian wolves walking unnoticed from the Apennine mountains all the way through nothern Italy to France, where they then turn up as large, grey Siberian ones - without anybody noticing that there is something fishy about it.
In its suit against Finland, the Commission describes the wolf as an animal that, under natural circumstances, lives its life in the wilderness hunting wild animals. The wolf has never behaved that way, as is documented in a large number of works from various countries and various times. In the suit, other “efficient methods” of protection against wolves are mentioned, such as scaring, repellents and smell.
Scaring is the latest hat-trick the ecotheologists want to try, although it is doomed to fail - You do not scare away a wolf for more than a few minutes. The Norwegien newspaper Siste reports end January, 2006: “Norsk institutt for naturforskning (Nina) slapp nylig en rapport som oppsummerer den nyeste forskningen på ulv i Norge og Sverige. (..) Etter flere tilfeller hvor ulver har vært svært nærgående i forhold til mennesker, har svenske ulveforskere gjennomført forsøk for å finne måter å gjøre ulvene mer redd. Blant annet er det gjort forsøk med å skyte knallskudd mot dyrene. (..) Ulveforsker Hilde K. Wam ved Universitetet for miljø- og biovitenskap (UMB) på Ås tror svenskenes knallskudd-eksperimenter har effekt. (..) – I et kort perspektiv viser forsøkene at ulvene blir mer sky i forhold til mennesker. Men det er ikke gjort undersøkelser på om effekten av knallskuddene vil avta ved gjentatt bruk, sier Wam til Avisenes Nyhetsbyrå (ANB).”
It is remarkable that the Commission, in a suit against a member country, presents methods as “efficient” when they only have been tried by some wishful researchers and with no proven results and, furthermore, history proves that they are not.
A piquant detail in the suit is the mention of smell as an efficient method against wolves. Even Järvsö Rovdjursscenter in Sweden that carries out ”research” on scaring wolves, sees it as follows: “Skyddshalsband av olika slag har testats med varierande resultat. Läderhalsband med spik eller illaluktande medel är billiga och kan fungera mot lodjur men knappast mot björn och varg.”
See its web page http://www.de5stora.com/rovdjurManniska/index.asp
According to Mr. Ismo Karppinen, sixty persons from eastern Finland have written to the EU Commission to complain about fearless wolves for which hunting licenses are refused. They have all received identical replies basically saying that Finland has committed itself and has to bear the consequences. Mr. Ismo Karppinen also has reported that Ms. Anja Finne of the Commission, has said that all the complaints come from the same wolf hating fanatic. When Mr. Nicholas Hanley visited eastern Finland to learn about the situation on the field, Ms. Finne acted as his interpreter. She systematically falsified what people said to Mr. Hanley until Mr. Christian Krogell of the ministry of agriculture and forestry took over.
The above mentioned pronouncements of the Commission faithfully echo the lies and the propaganda detailed above.
When meeting the Finnish delegation of Raila Ahonen, Hanna Puolakka and Ismo Karppinen on January 13th, 2006, Pierre Schellekens assured that the EU does not prohibit Finland from killing wolves that come into peoples´ front yards. Mr. Schellekens directly exhorted to do so, as the safety and well-being of people always have to be the primary consideration. Even if the problem is a whole pack of wolves that behaves threateningly, it can be removed as required. Finland can decide itself on felling such wolves without the EU meddling. EU also gives no number or wolves that should live in Finland.
Two days after the Commissioner Stavros Dimas gave similar assurances over the phone to Mr. Säkkinen of “Suurpetoyhdistys” in 2005, the Large Predator Society the Commission sued Finland for having done precisely that.
People who are forced to live among increasingly numerous and fearless wolves furiously claim their fundamental rights under the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights and the Constitution of Finland: Their right to safety, to freedom of movement and to peaceful enjoyment of property and the obligation of the public authorities to endeavor to guarantee for everyone the right to a healthy environment and the possibility to influence the decisions that concern their own living environment.
Rage and disgust towards the EU are spreading as fast as the wolf is. In areas where wolves have established themselves, it would be as difficult to find a person that would not vote for seceding from the EU as it would be to find a supporter of wolf protection. There can hardly be a more efficient method of destroying the support for the EU than letting Commission officials gang up with like-minded fanatics in the member countries to produce abhorrent legislation which they then use to pass the buck to the national authorities, all while peoples’ livelihoods and their way of life are being destroyed and the sanctity of their homes and the safety of their children are being threatened.
The suit of the EU was widely publicized and the issues I describe above became common knowledge. If the rural population earlier could not understand the lunacy of wolf protection, they now fully well know that ecotheologists in Finland and in Brussels are scheming together to create new wilderness where their homes are.
The parallels between the objectives and the methods of the ecotheologists and those of the Soviet led communists are becoming obvious to more and more people. It is not amusing that, this time, common sense reigns in Russia while a destructive ideology is spread in the EU and in USA through lies and despotism.
The first political fallout is now visible. The candidate of the Center (ex rural) party, Prime Minister Matti Vanhanen lost heavily in the presidential elections. Immediately thereafter, party officials started contacting Mr. Karppinen and other known party members in the wolf resistance movement. The Center party won by a very fine margin the parliamentary elections of 2003, which brought them into government from a long time in opposition. Their minister of agriculture and forestry Juha Korkeaoja is today seen to have failed the rural population in his wolf policies.
I have heard about a few incidents. One is said to have occurred after a wolf bit the feet of a large number of blue fox at a fur farm in Ostrobotnia. Compensation was refused as the law does not foresee wolf damage to fur animals. License to fell the wolf was also refused. The wolf is said to have disappeared.
The case of Stig Engdahl is today getting press coverage in Sweden. He was sentenced to six months prison without parole for shooting a wolf that was about to attack his sheep yet another time.
Mr. Tapani Veistola (see above) commented this to Mr. Jan-Erik Ingvall on January, 31st ,2006:
“If the type only had had the patience to respect the law and the directive”
More seriously, there is today widespread and open talk about taking the law of the wilderness to the wolves. Such plans are openly discussed at gatherings of law-abiding and leading citizens in rural areas.
Without speculating on the likelyhood of these discussions leading to coordinated civil disobedience, I call your attention to the seriousness of leading local personalities openly discussing plans to flout the law and possibly to engage in minor insurgency.
I have showed the disastrous consequences of the Commission applying the concept of endangered species not to its natural range as originally intended but to a small part thereof. Thus, it confounds the concept of preservation of species with the existence of certain species in given locations.
In the case of the wolf, the Commission has declared a globally widespread, resilient and fast multiplying species endangered, to be allowed to spread to populated ares where it simply doesn’t fit in. Hardly anybody wants to exterminate the wolf and it is generally agreed that Finland can house wolves – but not where they live.
The Commission must accept that it cannot force citizens of the member countries to live toghether with species they do not want to. Not with wolves. Not with rats, lice, tapeworms or tuberculosis bacteria although each of these would add to biodiversity on a species-by-species basis as much as the wolf would and each of them is as much a part of nature in Finland as the wolf is.
As you said to the Finnish delegation of January 13th, the safety and well-being of people always have to be the primary consideration.
The situation resembles that in Finland, with the exceptions that wolf protection has been anchored politically and legally. It was laid down in “Regeringens proposition 2000/01:57 Sammanhållen rovdjurspolitik Prop. 2000/01:57”
This bill contains a remarkable piece on security of the citizens as seen by the Swedish government:
“När det gäller varg, lodjur och järv finns inga undersökningar motsvarande den som skandinaviska björnprojektet gjort om björn. Några fall av regelrätta angrepp finns inte belagda men ett oskyggt beteende är inte ovanligt särskilt hos ensamma vargar. Att även vargar kan döda människor är belagt. Detta har dock inte hänt i modern tid i Sverige. Vargar uppehöll sig förr regelmässigt nära människor eftersom de i stor utsträckning levde på boskap i brist på vilda bytesdjur. Förhållandena var följaktligen i många avseenden så annorlunda att en bedömning av riskerna för angrepp i nutid utifrån dessa händelser blir missvisande. I andra delar av världen där angrepp på människor skett i modern tid finns likheter med de dåvarande förhållandena i Sverige. När det gäller varg finns det uppgifter från Nordamerika om områden med mycket människor och stora och täta vargbestånd. Ett exempel är Superior National Forest i Minnesota med en vargstam på flera hundra djur. Där har man omkring 19 miljoner besöksdagar per år och det finns inte ett fall där någon människa blivit attackerad.”
The bill mentions where attacks have not taken place, stays silent on where they have and simply assumes that man-eating is excluded when there are game animals around. See man-eating above.
The bill is a remarkable exception to the usual Swedish concern for safety.
For a history on Swedish wolf lies, see “Vargens Näringssök och Människan” by Elis Pålsson (PB Brännhult 30 S-34390 Älmhult, +46-476-71210) download from www.locomail.com/vargen).
See a collection of newspaper articles on www.folkaktionen.com.
Re illegal wolf introduction in Sweden and Norway, see Lars Toverud (+47-22515000, email@example.com) “Utsetting av ulv i Norge och Sverige”, download from http://personal.inet.fi/luonto/mikael.broo/ Texter om varg. Since the dog of Mr. Toverud was killed by a wolf a decade ago, he has spent all his free time investigating illegal introduction of wolves in Norway and Sweden. Last I heard from him, he had found 168 cases.
“Utsetting av ulv i Norge och Sverige” contains o photocopy of “Rapport från Projekt Varg” by Naturskyddsföreningen, 1976. The report holds for certain that the wolf never can re-establish itself in Sweden by natural means and proceeds with elaborate plans for re-introduction on a how and where basis. Some decade later, wolves appeared exactly in the foreseen locations in Värmland and Dalarna, ostensibly after having walked down from Lapland unobserved. See “militant wing” and FRANCE below.
After a big problem wolf recently had been shot in northern Sweden, Mr. Eirik Granqvist by chance saw its picture in a Swedish newspaper. The animal clearly was an east Siberian wolf, of a type found only east of lake Baikal. During his time as a chief conservator of the zoological museum of the university of Helsinki, Mr. Granqvist was the highest national authority on the determination of animal species.
Veistola to Ingvall on this on January 31st: “If the cases turn out to be true, the conservationists (who else?) have taken model from actions of the fox-girls (raiding fur farms). There are, of course, both militant and politically active conservationists. It is of course clear that there is no reason to drag a wolf from eastern Siberia to Sweden when you can find them closer by. (and if there are eastern Siberian wolves in Sweden, they would have been discovered in the genetic research).”
The denial is obvious – you do not need genetics to distinguish one type of animal from another. The wolf may well come from a zoo, as others obviously have. The point on a militant wing is interesting. The political wing of the movement, the publicly funded Association, is aware of the existence of a militant wing and, one can read between the lines, does not object to its activities.
The wolves in France are descendants of illegally introduced individuals. For details, see excerpt below of Eirik Granqvist (firstname.lastname@example.org, +358-40-8466881), published in the daily Sydösterbotten at the end of January, 2006:
“I Frankrike har man genom historien haft mycket svåra vargproblem. Redan år 813 lät kejsar Karl den Store bilda ett speciellt vargjägarregemente med uppgift att utrota vargarna. Ännu i våra dagar finns det i varje franskt län, som arvtagare till detta regemente, en person med titeln "vargjägarlöjtnant". Han hade tidigare till uppgift att koordinera vargskall och att överhuvudtaget sköta utrotningskriget. I våra dagar är han jaktövervakare och rådgivare vid fångst av smårovdjur. Eftersom vargplågan var stor i landet är det på sin plats att jag nämner några av de mera kända tilldragelserna genom historien. År 1439 dödades fjorton personer av vargar i centrala Paris mellan Montmartre och Port St Antoine! 1630 klagar prästen i en liten by mellan Mende och Villefort i Cevennerna över att 26 av hans församlingsmedlemmar under vintern blivit ihjälrivna och uppätna av vargar! Odjuret från Gevaudan är det mest kända fallet kring vilket också de flesta myterna har bildats. I våra dagar när vargen inte mera får vara den som gör någonting illa så har mytbildningen slagit alla rekord i vansinne. Man har försökt förklara odjuret varande en hybrid och tillochmed en hyena som en afrikaresenär skulle ha hämtat med sig och tränat upp till att döda människor. Man har också fösökt säga att det skulle ha varit en galning som iklädd vargskinn skulle ha utfört morden samt försökt förklara händelserna med allsköns övernaturligt nonsens. Det tycks vara lättare att tro på sagor än verklighet. Vad hände då i Gevaudan? Åren 1764 -1767 dödades ett hundratal kvinnor och barn när de vaktade får i Cevennerna. Vargarna som troligen var tre till antalet med en stor hona som ledare sprang rakt genom fårhjorden för att ta kvinnan eller barnet eftersom de specialiserat sig på det bytet. Trots att mytbildningen snabbt kom igång om att det rörde sig om någonting onaturligt så fann man aldrig någonting annat än normala vargspår när platsen för anfallen undersöktes. Kungen Ludvig XV såg så allvarligt på händelserna att han sände ut militären för att skjuta vargarna. 1764 sköts 74 vargar men dödandet av människor fortsatte likt tidigare och upphörde först 1767. Förklaringen är enkel. De andra dödade vargarna hade inte specialiserat sig på människobyten. Man måste döda den rätta. Den stora vargen som ansågs vara den huvudskyldige transporterades när den skjutits till Paris men transporten tog för länge. Kadavret ruttnade och finns därför till vargkramarnas glädje inte bevarat. Vargarna hade under den franska revolutionens ofärdsår ökat till den grad att regeringen 1797startade en statsledd utrotningskampanj varvid 7 350 vargar dödades. 1816 upprepades kampanjen och skottpengen höjdes. 2 416 vargar dödades. Under dessa statsledda utrotningskampanjer höggs också de otaliga och fortfarande existerande, geometriskt dragna skogsvägarna upp. Dessa indelar skogarna i "kvarter" vilket gjorde det enklare att spänna upp vargnät. 1883 sköts i Frankrike 1300 vargar och 1887, 701 vargar. 1930 var vargen i praktiken utrotad i landet. Själv hade jag 1968 nöjet att som Musée des Sciences Naturelles konservator i Orléans restaurera och nymontera Centralfrankrikes sista människoätarvarg. Den hade i Chaingy nära Orléans dödat och ätit upp en åttaårig flicka år 1854. Den sköts av den legenadriske tjuvskytten Blaiset Basset som lyckats med rekordet att hela 24 gånger dömas för tjuvskytte! Jag ställde ut vargen på museet i ett diorama föreställande skogen där vargen levat. När de fanatiska vargkramarvindarna nådde Frankrike under den senare hälften av 1980 talet så revs dioramat och vargen försvann. Jag har inte ens klarat av att spåra den. Antagligen har den förstörts för barnätande vargar får inte finnas till. I en bok om Centralfrankrikes sista vargar, utkommen 1990 finns den inte ens omnämnd! 1986 dök ett odjur upp i Réauville i Rhônedalen. Det skadade och dödade får och hundar. Mytbildningen startade snabbt om puman i Réauville. Folk såg den ofta nattetid och beskrivningarna blev mer och mer fantastiska. Historien började likna den om odjuret i Gévaudan. Det lokala gendarmeriet hämtade mig då till platsen för att om möjligt identifiera spåren. Det var enkelt. Spåren visade otvivelaktigt på en varg i 45 kilos klassen. På rådhuset i Réauville pågick en otrolig aktivitet. Församlade var massor av journalister och representanter för allehanda kvasi-naturskyddsorganisationer. Även om vargen vid den tiden fortfarande var fredlös så förklarades det vitt och brett under detta "pöbelns" tryck att djuret skulle fångas levande i en fälla. Odjuret var tidstypiskt mycket viktigare än alla rivna får och hundar som inte "naturskyddarna" brydde sig om. Borgmästaren bad mig in på sitt kontor tillsammans med en förtrogen och stängde dörren. "Vad anser Ni att vi skall göra?" Jag förklarade att vargen helt klar hade uppfötts I fångenskap eftersom den var mycket oskygg och skadade en massa men dödade dåligt. "Säg ingenting och gräv ner den!" Odjuret i Réauville försvann. 1987 invandrade vargar enligt uppgift från Italien till nationalparken Mercantour ovanför Nizza. Vargen var fortfarande fredlös och en av vargarna sköts omedelbart. När jag såg bilden i tidningen kunde jag inte göra annat än flina! Vargen var av fel ras! Den var inte en av de små rölliga italienska vargarna utan vargen var av nordisk/sibirisk ras! Att vargar skulle ha invandrat från Italien var inte heller logiskt bortsett från metamorfosen. Invandringen skulle ha betytt att vargarna osedda och utan märkbar skadegörelse skulle ha vandrat från Apenninerna genom det tättbyggda Toscana, den högindustrialiserade Po-slätten med alla sina vägar och hårt trafikerade motorvägar för att så småningom nå Frankrike. Att de franska vargarna var utsläppta från fångenskap är klart. Odjuret i Réauville kom inte långt ifrån. I Gévaudan i Cévennerna hade vargfantasten Ménatory ett hägn med en betydande vargavel och han fick sina inkomster från tourismen. Hans vargpark blev snabbt berömd och den drivs nu efter han död av dottern. Där får tourister och småbarn lära sig hur fina och snälla djur de tama vargarna är. En tam varg har ingenting att göra med det vilda djuret. Om också de andra vargarna kommit från Ménatorys hägn är omöjligt att säga. På sjuttio och åttiotalet förekom en omfattande handel med levande vargar och många fantaster höll sig med tama husvargar i stället för hundar. Nu är de vilda vargarna minst 75 trots att det beviljats många avskjutningstillstånd och ännu fler har skjutits illegalt. Den fria fårdriften i Alperna håller på att omöjliggöras.”
In the US, the wolf is listed in the federal Endangered Species Act is spite of its abundance in Alaska, Canada and Mexico. Under a federal program, wolves imported from there are introduced into New Mexico, Montana, Idaho and Wyoming over the head of State decision makers.
The following excerpts from http://www.planetjh.com/brady/brady_2005_11_02_wolves.html illustrate the situation:
“The federal government, many of these people feel, has turned its back on allaying their fears that soon their very livelihoods will be preserved anywhere but inside a museum while wolves run amok outside. In fact, this fatalistic sentiment has given rise to a larger fear of public institutions and environmental bureaucrats serving the special interests of multi-million dollar eco-lobbying firms in Washington, D.C., as both sides steadily sell out the farmers' and ranchers' once exalted place as Jefferson's favored inheritors of the earth. (..) That the entire environmental movement - symbolized by the wolf's reintroduction and recovery - is masquerading as a plot to drive ranchers off public and private lands might sound paranoid to those who have not witnessed the look in the eyes of the dispossessed.”
I hope that the above information shall be of assistance to the Commission in fulfilling its political and moral obligation to safeguard the rights and freedoms of the citizens of the member countries written into the Charter of Fundamantal Rights of the European Union.