Wolf hunting in areas outside of the animal’s designated protected zones has been suspended after the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) sued the state at Oslo District Court.
The WWF’s suit against the Norwegian state asked the court to examine Norwegian laws on control of wolf populations, and to suspend hunting in the counties of Østfold, Oslo, Akershus and Hedmark, while investigations take place, reports news agency NTB.
Oslo District Court announced its decision on Tuesday.
The decision will be put into effect immediately, Christian Hillmann, advisor for the Rovviltnemnda (Wolf Advisory Board) in the relevant region, told NTB.
WWF environmental policy department leader Ingrid Lomelde told the agency that the organization was now looking forward to further examination of the issue by the court.
“Oslo District Court has taken an important decision by stopping the ongoing wolf hunt. 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,” Lomelde said.
The court itself stressed that suspension of hunting remains temporary for the time being.
Five animals have been shot since the beginning of the season in the four counties in areas outside of zones in which wolves are protected by law (ulvesonen in Norwegian), NTB reports.
WWF’s case is based on its argument that the animal is completely protected and on Norway’s own list of ‘critically endangered’ species, the agency reported as the trial began last week.
The Norwegian state is supported in the trial by the Norwegian Agrarian Association (Norges Bondelag), which has argued that halting wolf hunting would have adverse effects on food production.
The Norwegian Forest Owners Association (Skogeierforbundet) and Association of Hunters and Fishers (Norges Jeger- og Fiskerforbund) also supports the state in the case.