A Norwegian hunter has been sentenced to seven months in jail and stripped of his rights to hunt, trap and use a dog to hunt, after he’d trained the dog he had to kill foxes. Police suspect the hunter intended to use his dogs to attack and kill wolves.
Norway’s national hunting organization also condemned the hunter’s offense. “This falls well outside the law (governing hunting),” Espen Farstad of Norges jeger og fiskeforbund told state broadcaster NRK. “The law is crystal clear: A hunter must at all times have control of the dog. Hunters can only kill wild animals with guns loaded with ammunition. The dog shall not be used to kill the animals.”
The goal in Norwegian hunting tradition, Farstad said, is to kill wild animals “as quickly and painlessly as possible.” The hunter convicted by the court in Sør-Østerdal, eastern Norway, violated every rule in the book, according to Farstad.
Live Kleveland of the animal rights group Dyrevernalliansen welcomed the court’s verdict and called it an important step against cruelty to animals.
“We don’t know how widespread this may be, but there’s reason to believe it exists in some circles,” Kleveland told NRK. Animals like the red foxes hunted down and mauled to death in this case experience extreme fear and pain, she noted.
“This amounts to serious animal abuse and should result in strict punishment,” she said. “I know that police have investigated several similar cases and see that prosecutors are now taking this more seriously than they did before.” The Norwegian government has also recently strengthened efforts to investigate and prosecute cases of animal cruelty.