Licenses to kill 201 lynx have been given, just weeks after a wolf cull where dozens of wolves were killed. In the case of the wolves, despite 300 being declared the minimum by scientists, the government has set the minimum at 200 – thought to be an effort to appease the hunting lobby.
The number of lynx cull licences are out of proportion to the damage they do, and is twice the number hunted last year. Far from being pests, lynx in many parts of Europe (including Sweden are likely to disappear in the next few decades without significant change. Currently, there are 1450 lynx in the country, 300 less than 1 decade ago, however as the Swedish environmental protection agency argues that there only need to be 870 for a healthy population.
The Swedish hunting assiciation admits that the Lynx poses no danger to humans,
The European habitats directive specifies that hunting can occur to prevent damage to livestock or in the interests of public safety – however, as it is clear that neither of these apply, it is questionable as to whether this hunt is even legal. It is also occuring when the animals fur is at its longest – and therefore of most interest to hunters. However, as this is also breeding season, it is a time of year usually avoided. This would add to the evidence that this is not necessary from a scientific point of view, and is merely the hunting lobby getting to hunt more because it wants to.