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Killing Wolves to Save Them? Legal Responses to 'Tolerance Hunting' in the European Union and United States
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Law, Department of Law.
2017 (English)In: Review of European, Comparative and International Environmental Law, ISSN 2050-0386, E-ISSN 2050-0394, Vol. 26, no 1, 19-29 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Wolves are protected by law in both the United States (US) and European Union (EU). These laws restrict the harming or killing of individual members of protected species, but allow it in selective circumstances, such as when killing some individuals would benefit the species. In both unions, some states have argued that allowing the public hunting of wolves would in fact benefit the species by improving social tolerance for wolves, a claim that is currently the subject of controversy among scientists. In the absence of clear evidence that hunting is favourable for wolf populations, US courts have repeatedly struck down policies that allowed it. While hunting wolves to achieve their social acceptability is likely to also violate EU law, the EU court has not yet resolved the question and hunting for social acceptance continues in some Member States, such as Sweden and Finland. This article contrasts these legal responses to social ‘tolerance hunting’ and argues that the Habitats Directive should not be interpreted to allow tolerance hunting of strictly protected species. It then uses the contrasting legal situations to engage with the claim that the EU has become more ‘precautionary’ than the US on environmental matters.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2017. Vol. 26, no 1, 19-29 p.
Keyword [en]
wolves, Habitats Directive, Endangered Species Act, precautionary principle
National Category
Law
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-317868DOI: 10.1111/reel.12188ISI: 000398845200003OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-317868DiVA: diva2:1083306
Projects
Claws and Laws
Funder
Swedish Environmental Protection Agency
Available from: 2017-03-21 Created: 2017-03-21 Last updated: 2017-05-15Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. The Big Bad EU? Species Protection and European Federalism: A Case Study of Wolf Conservation and Contestation in Sweden
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The Big Bad EU? Species Protection and European Federalism: A Case Study of Wolf Conservation and Contestation in Sweden
2017 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This dissertation examines how eco-knowledge intersects with the changes to EU legal cultures and practices known as eurolegalism. This conjunction has created a mechanism for the extension of EU law in the Member States even in the face of a weakened EU.

Through a portfolio of six articles, controversies over the protection of wolves in Sweden are used to illustrate and explicate the changing roles and responsibilities of various actors in protecting species, and the centralization of competence for environmental protection in Europe at the EU level. In doing so, some substantive requirements of the Habitats Directive are also analyzed. The first article maps the movement of competence to determine conservation policy towards the EU level and away from international and Member State actors. The second article examines what the EU requires of its Member States by analyzing the Habitats Directive’s key concept, favourable conservation status. It also makes normative arguments for how contested aspects of this concept should be interpreted to best achieve the Directive’s conservation goals. The third article deepens this analysis by applying these arguments to the Swedish wolf population. The fourth article is a case commentary illustrating the enforcement of the Habitats Directive through public interest litigation to stop the hunting of Swedish wolves. The fifth argues that the greater availability of public interest standing in the US than in the EU has led to the greater implementation of federal law. The sixth argues that greater availability of public interest litigation in Sweden than previously is also leading to the greater enforcement of “federal” EU law. Each of these articles demonstrates or explains factors that lead to the hollowing out of state power in favor of the EU and interest groups.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Department of Law, 2017. 63 p.
Keyword
Habitats Directive, species protection, subsidiarity, Endangered Species Act
National Category
Law
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-318698 (URN)978-91-506-2632-2 (ISBN)
Public defence
2017-05-19, Room 4573, Gamla Torget 6, Uppsala, 10:15 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Funder
Swedish Environmental Protection Agency
Note

Cover photo by Guillaume Chapron

Available from: 2017-04-26 Created: 2017-03-28 Last updated: 2017-05-02

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Citation style
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