Much as expected, the dispute over Finland’s wolves and their protection will be going to the Court of Justice of the European Communities. The Helsinki government’s ministerial committee for EU affairs has confirmed that Finland is sticking to its position that protection of the wolf population is in order in the country.
In its response to the official complaint filed in late September by the European Commission, the government notes that when wolves are hunted in Finland it is for well-grounded reasons and in a way that does not endanger the overall population.
The reply also states that the wolf population within Finland’s borders has increased substantially in recent years, and the animals have spread across a markedly larger area of the country.
The Commission formally initiated legal proceedings in September because it believes that Finland has been overly lenient in the granting of hunting permits.
The Commissioners are not taking a position on how many wolves there should be in Finland.
The Court of Justice is not expected to come up with a ruling for at least a year or more.