Sweden court suspends wolf cull
Sweden has suspended a controversial wolf cull after a legal challenge by animal rights activists.
The Swedish Environmental Protection Agency had allowed a "targeted" cull of 16 wolves this year in an effort to protect the wolf population from inbreeding.
EPA wildlife co-ordinator Ruona Burman said today that three animals had been killed before a Stockholm court suspended the hunt.
This is pending a decision on an appeal by the nature conservancy and animal rights groups.
Wolf hunting is a highly charged issue in Sweden, pitting activists against land owners whose livestock have been attacked by the country's small but growing wolf population.
Once near extinction, Sweden's wolf population is now growing by an average of 14% annually and was estimated at 260-330 animals last year, Ms Burman said.