Finnish Minister Of Agriculture And Forestry Asked To Halt Wolf Kill

22 January 2010

To:       [Finnish press]
From:   Sam Glover 020 7357 9229, ext 229; [email protected].
Re:       Finnish Minister of Agriculture and Forestry Asked to Halt Wolf Kill

2 pages via fax:

Today, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) Foundation UK – an affiliate of the world’s largest animal rights organisation, which has more than 2 million members and supporters worldwide – sent an urgent letter to Sirkka-Liisa Anttila, Finland’s Minister of Agriculture and Forestry, asking her to stop the killing of wolves in Lapland. PETA has encouraged its supporters to boycott Finland until the hunt is called off. An action alert posted on PETA’s website has already generated thousands of calls to the Finnish government.

Last year, the ministry authorised the killing of 28 wolves, saying that the action was taken to protect reindeer – animals Finns raise and slaughter for their meat and skins. Although Lapland boasts a population of 200,000 reindeer, there may be only about 35 wolves remaining in the region.

“The few wolf families who remain should be respected and treasured, not slaughtered to satisfy reindeer farmers’ greed”, says PETA’s Alistair Currie.

Finland’s wolf population – estimated at only about 200 animals across the entire country – is already threatened by hunting, which is invariably cruel. Animals are gunned down following a traumatic run for their lives. Hunters cannot always retrieve the wolves they shoot, leaving animals to suffer from their injuries and even die slowly from blood loss and infection.

PETA’s letter to Minister of Agriculture and Forestry Sirkka-Liisa Anttila follows.

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Dear Ms Anttila,

I am writing to you on behalf of PETA UK to express our concern that the Finnish government has authorised the killing of wolves in Lapland and to ask for your help in putting a stop to this cruel and needless attack on your nation’s wildlife.

Finland promotes itself as a destination for lovers of the great outdoors, yet wolves are ruthlessly hunted in your country. Hunters shoot the wolves supposedly to prevent them from attacking reindeer, animals whom Finns raise and slaughter for their meat and skins. It is estimated that there are only around 35 – or perhaps even fewer – wolves remaining in the wilds of Lapland and that within all of Finland, there may be just 200 or so wolves remaining.

With Finland’s very small population of wolves already being threatened by illegal hunting, it is vital that the country take urgent action to protect these animals. Hunting inflicts injuries on wolves and many cases causes them to suffer a prolonged, agonising death – it is as inhumane as it is unnecessary. Rather than endorsing this assault on native animals, Finland should instead celebrate the presence of these remarkable and beautiful predators and encourage responsible ecotourism in the areas where they live. Doing so would not only benefit the wolves but also the county’s human population.

As Minister of Agriculture and Forestry, you are in a unique position to make a difference for these animals. We hope to hear from you soon that officials have withdrawn permission for the licensed killing of wolves and will instead take effective action to prevent poaching. Until that time, however, we will continue to urge people who care about animals not to visit Finland and to encourage their friends and family to join the boycott as well.

Thank you for your time and consideration.


Alistair Currie
Policy Advisor
PETA Foundation