Nov. 22 (UPI) — Plans to allow the culling of 50 wolves in Norway have been halted by the Oslo District Court.
The decision was made after the World Wide Fund for Nature sued the state to prevent wolf hunting in the counties of Østfold, Oslo, Akershus and Hedmark.
WWF asked the courts to take a closer look at Norway’s laws permitting wolf hunting outside of designated protective zones.
“Oslo District Court has taken an important decision by stopping the ongoing wolf hunt,” said Ingrid Lomelde, policy director at WWF-Norway. “We are now looking forward to the case going to court, where judges will decide whether Norwegian wolf administration is in breach of Norwegian law and international obligations.”
The Oslo District Court stressed that their ban is temporary.
Norwegian authorities previously decided that 50 wolves could be killed this winter, but only outside of the designated wolf protection zone.
WWF suggests the loss of 50 wolves would account for a 90 precent loss of Norway’s wolf population.
“The current situation is a catastrophe for the critically endangered wolf — and an embarrassment to Norway as a self-proclaimed environmental champion,” Lomelde said in a news release.
Though now momentarily stopped, wolf hunting was originally allowed to begin on Oct 1. Reports suggest five wolves have been shot.
Wolves are on Norway’s “critically endangered” species list.
The Norwegian Agrarian Association, Norwegian Forest Owners Association and Association of Hunters and Fishers all support the state’s legalization of wolf hunting.