A few days ago, The Swedish Association for Hunting and Wildlife Management (SAHWM) and The Swedish Kennel Club (SKC) wrote a letter to EU Commissioner Janez Potočnik to complain about another letter written by three Swedish conservation organizations a couple of weeks ago.
We i the Nordulv Association insist that this letter has major flaws and several direct inaccuracies.
SAHWM and SKC start by stating that the letter of the conservation organizations includes "erroneous statements". Further down in the text they change and call the letter "misleading to the best". To first make a serious accusation and then take it back is bad because many readers never read more than the introduction.
There's more to remark in the letter:
"Swedish research shows that there is a direct relationship between wolf population density and damages to livestock and pets" It is doubtful whether such a relationship exists and in any case the damage is relatively small. For example, in 2011 a number of 643 dogs were injured by traffic, 82 were injured or killed by wild boars while only 14 dogs were killed or injured by wolves (statistics by Agria).
"Scientific surveys show that we already have a situation where a majority of the inhabitants in a number of municipalities where wolves occur want to see a significant decrease in the national goal for the wolf population" There is no reference to research. By typing "Scientific surveys' in the indefinite form they avoid the need to report how many surveys there are showing this result and if there are other studies showing different results. They disclaim the liability for the statement.
"All available scientific knowledge shows that attitudes to wolves are becoming more and more negative where wolves occur" There is no reference to research and by typing "available" they can discard results of studies they don't want to acknowledge. They can always say that the studies were not available!
Furthermore, they write that the SAHWM and the SKC together have nearly 500,000 members. May be, but in particular the statement of the Kennel Club is not based on the general opinion of the members. In addition, the organizations they oppose are large as well. SSNC has about 200,000 members and WWF is a global organization with five million supporters.
Finally, the letter referes to Commissioner Potočnik's "astute" remark at the FACE 35th anniversary in September: "what would be most appropriate for the wolf issue is to have it decided at the national level". We have read Commissioner Potočnik's speech from the meeting and have difficulties finding that statement. The closest we come is the sentence "The already mentioned agreement between BirdLife and FACE has already delivered a lot at the EU level, what we need now is to make further efforts to implement it on the ground, at the national and regional levels." If this is the quote they refere to they are wrong, since this is about birds .
Our conclusion in Nordulv is that the SAHWM and the SKC are trying to discredit the conservation organizations without any legitimate reason.