Many conservation groups have expressed outrage over the decision to cull more than two-thirds of the remaining wolves. The number of wolves to be culled is the highest in a year since 1911. Nina Jensen, the head of the Norwegian branch of the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) said:
This is mass slaughter. We have not seen anything like this in a hundred years, back when the policy was that all large carnivores were to be eradicated. Shooting 70 percent of the wolf population is not worthy of a nation claiming to be championing environmental causes. People all over the country, and outside its borders, are now reacting.
Farmers have welcomed the hunting of wolves as they are considered a threat to their sheep. Erling Aas-Eng, a regional official for a farming association said:
We find the reason (for the killing) justified and intelligent, especially the potential damage that these wolf packs represent to farming.
Norway’s annual wolf hunting begins on October 1 and ends on March 31. Last year, a whopping 11,571 people signed up for licenses to kill 16 wolves.