Will I Be Killed in March?
Hunting of Endangered Lynxes – The Next Carnage in the Swedish Forests
At the time of writing, the terrible wolf hunt is still going on in the Swedish forests. Hunters with tough hunting dogs have invaded the Swedish forests. Wolf families are still hunted, tormented, and exterminated. This despite protests from many Swedes and several nature conservation organizations. The wolves that are now being killed have not disturbed humans in any way. They are killed simply because they are wolves.
Soon it’s time for the next carnage in the Swedish nature: Our most popular wild animal, the lynx, will be exposed to the hunters and their dogs.
On the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency’s website under “Hunting of predators” it says:
“Hunting of large carnivores can be conducted as licensed hunting or as protection hunting. The right to decide about licensed hunting of bears, wolves and lynx is delegated to the County Administrative Boards in counties where the number of breeding populations of the species in the predator management area exceeds the established minimum levels. Licensed hunting is mainly used to limit the size of predator populations.”
The trophy hunt for lynx starts on March 1st. In southern and central Sweden, twice as many lynx may be killed this year compared to last year. In northern Sweden, decisions have not yet been made. In the southern management area, 86 lynx may be killed (32 were killed in 2022); in the central management area, 78 lynx may be killed (56 were killed in 2022). In total, 164 lynx may be hunted, tracked by loose dogs and shot in the southern and central management areas. In 2022, there were 88, an increase of double. And we have not seen the decisions of the northern management area yet…
Lynx hunting is cruel, since the lynx is hunted with two loose, strong hunting dogs. The dogs that are set loose in the forest carry GPS and often a camera. The hunter can relax and wait while the dogs “do the work”. They track the lynx and chase it until it can’t run anymore. Then it climbs a tree to escape. The dogs mount guard under the tree and the lynx has no way to escape. The hunter then shoots it at close range.
In some counties, it is allowed to catch lynx in traps. Trapped and unable to escape, the lynx sometimes tear off their claws and break off their teeth in their desperate attempts to free themselves. A lynx can be stuck for hours in a trap unless the hunter sees to the trap soon. According to the law, the trap must be checked twice a day. The lynx is then shot to death with no chance of escape. In snow-rich counties, poachers use snowmobiles to track the lynx.
The hunt for lynx and wolves is often described in social media by the hunters as “exciting, fast-paced, fierce”. When hunting with a license, the hunter may keep the skin of the killed animal on presentation of a Cites Certificate. Thus, lynx hunting is a pleasure and trophy hunt.
The female lynx has her yearling cub with her at the time of the hunt. If the mother and cub get separated during the hunt, the mother may be shot but not the cub. An orphaned cub may find it hard to survive. Perhaps it inadvertently enters human villages in search of food. This may lead to a so-called protective hunting of the young animal.
Wild animals are not protected by the Animal Welfare Act, as our pets are. According to section 27 of the Hunting Act, “The hunt must be conducted so that the game is not subjected to unnecessary suffering and so that people and property are not exposed to danger”. But this paragraph is toothless because wild animals may apparently be hunted with loose, tough hunting dogs and caught in traps. Wild animals are subjected to suffering during hunting. And The Hunting Critics consider all this suffering unnecessary.
The Hunting Critics want to ban lynx hunting. The conservation status of lynx is threatened in Sweden and it should not be hunted. Wild animals must be covered by the Animal Welfare Act too.