Reindeer Herders in Finland On Front Line of Wolf Wars


芬蘭養鹿人面對狼的戰爭


By Stephen Castle


SUOMUSSALMI, Finland – Close to the tiny Finnish village of Saaravaara, bloody tracks lead through the snow to the frozen carcass of an 8-month-old male reindeer lying on its side, its neck torn, its underbelly ripped open.
芬蘭小村莊薩拉瓦拉附近,雪地上的血跡一路把人帶到一頭八個月大公馴鹿已凍僵的屍體,牠側躺在地上,頸部被撕裂,下腹被扯開。


Saaravaara, near the Russian border, is reindeer country.

Within minutes, Ilmari Schepel, a local agriculture official, identified the culprit: a wolf. His evidence was the shape of the bite to the animal’s throat and the belly tear; wolves are particularly fond of reindeer intestines.
只花了幾分鐘,地方農業官員艾爾馬利‧榭貝爾就指認出凶手:一隻狼。他的證據是馴鹿咽喉被咬的形狀,以及腹部的撕扯傷;狼對馴鹿的腸子特別有興趣。


This town, a 20-minute drive from Finland’s border with Russia and more than 605 kilometers northeast of Helsinki, is on the front line of Finland’s wolf wars. The fight is between backers of European Union regulations, which are meant to halt sharp drops in the population of wolves and other endangered predators across Europe, and the roughly 7,000 reindeer herders whose livelihoods are threatened by increased attacks on their animals.
這個村莊距芬蘭和俄羅斯的邊界約20分鐘車程,位於赫爾辛基東北方逾605公里處,是芬蘭野狼戰爭的最前線。這場戰爭的交戰雙方,一邊是意圖阻止歐洲野狼和其他瀕絕掠食動物數量銳減的歐盟法規的支持者;另一邊則是大約七千個馴鹿養殖戶,他們的馴鹿被野狼攻擊的案件日增,生計大受威脅。


Finland, which joined the European Union in 1995, came under criticism that its hunting practices did not mesh with European habitat directives. So in 2001, the Finnish government tightened its hunting laws to meet European Union standards. Finnish law now states that every kill must be covered by a permit and restricts the number of permits to about 10 percent of a particular predator’s known numbers.
芬蘭1995年加入歐盟後,因其打獵活動與歐盟動物棲地指令不符而受到批評。因此在2001年,芬蘭政府制定更嚴格的狩獵法,以達到歐盟的標準。現在芬蘭法律規定,每一項獵殺行動都必須取得許可,許可的獵殺數量則不超過某種特定掠食動物已知數量的10%左右。


Seven years later, the populations of wolves, lynxes, brown bears and wolverines in Finland have grown substantially, according to the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry in Helsinki. In this area, the number of wolves has roughly tripled since 1996, and attacks on reindeer herds have increased more than threefold in the past 10 years.
根據赫爾辛基農林部的資料,在修法的七年後,芬蘭的狼、猞—、棕熊和狼獾數量大增。在此地區,狼的數量自1996年以來大約增為三倍,過去十年來,狼攻擊馴鹿群案件則增加了三倍多。


The level of anger about the hunting restrictions is high here. In one telling example, Stavros Dimas, the European environment commissioner who insisted on the hunting crackdown to protect the endangered predators, received a bullet in his mailbox from an irate hunter.
打獵限制在芬蘭引起群情激憤。歐盟環境事務專員(或稱環境事務執委會主席)史塔佛羅斯.迪馬斯堅持取締打獵以保護瀕絕掠食動物,他的信箱裡收到憤怒獵人寄來的子彈。


Asko Moilanen, 40, a third-generation herder, said that because of his losses to predators over the past three years, his income from reindeer has been reduced to almost nothing. “Either we should be allowed to hunt or they should pay compensation for the real losses,” he said. “It affects my whole life and my family.”
養鹿戶的第三代、40歲的阿斯柯‧莫伊拉儂說,由於過去三年掠食動物造成他的損失,他養馴鹿的收入幾乎化為烏有。他說:「他們應該准我們打獵,不然就得補償我們實際的損失,這已影響我整個生活和家庭。」


Mr. Moilanen, who is married with four children, depends on his wife’s earnings to make a living. “The people are poor here, but I am a beggar. Last year on my tax return, I declared just 100 dollars earned from herding.”
莫伊拉儂已婚,有四名子女,仰賴妻子的收入過活。「這裡的人很窮,而我更是乞丐,去年在我的報稅單上,我申報的養鹿所得只有100美元。」


Herders complain that state compensation for lost reindeer – each carcass fetches about $439 – is inadequate because it fails to take account the remains of those that are never found. The Agriculture and Forestry Ministry says the herders are fairly compensated.
養鹿戶抱怨,國家對馴鹿損失的補償是每具屍體可補償439美元,這不合理,因為無法把找不到屍體的馴鹿損失計算在內。農林部則說,養鹿戶得到相當好的補償。


In much of Finland, reindeer hold a hallowed place in the collective imagination. Farther north toward the Arctic Circle, Lapland is the supposed home of Santa Claus and his flying reindeer. Less sentimental Finns enjoy eating reindeer: fried, sautéed, smoked or cold.
在芬蘭大部分地方,養鹿人在集體幻想中占有神聖地位。在靠近北極圈的更北方,拉普蘭是傳說中耶誕老人和他會飛的馴鹿的故鄉。較不浪漫的芬蘭人則享受馴鹿大餐:炸、煎、燻或做冷盤。


Before Finnish law was amended in 2001, there were few restrictions on hunting of predators here.
芬蘭在2001年修法之前,對獵殺掠食動物幾乎沒有限制。


For its part, the European Commission insists that, under the European Habitats Directive, wolves have the right to be protected. “Men and wolves have lived together for centuries, and there is no reason why they should not continue to do so,” said Barbara Helfferich, a spokeswoman for Mr. Dimas, the European environment commissioner. “We need to ensure coexistence and protect the species according to the law.”
歐洲執行委員會則堅持依據歐洲棲地指令野狼有權受到保護。歐洲環境事務專員迪馬斯的發言人芭芭拉‧海佛里奇說:「人類與狼已共同生活許多世紀,沒有理由不繼續下去。我們有必要確保人與狼共存,並依法保護這些動物。」


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