A pack of up to twelve dogs has been spotted on both sides of the border the last few months. They cross the ice-covered river that separates Norway form Russia and are drawn to farms and houses in search for food. The police requests people living in Pasvik not to leave food outside and to wrap their garbage carefully before placing it in the trash can.
“We are afraid a pack of stray dogs is about to settle in the Pasvik valley and will shortly summon authorities to a meeting to discuss whether or not a stock of wild dogs is something we want to have in the Norwegian fauna”, Superintendent Einar Ingilæ from the Kirkenes police says to NRK.
Police patrols along the border will now start using weapons, so that they can shoot any wild dogs they see.
“The situation is highly unusual”, Magne Asheim from the State Nature Supervision says. «When there are as many wild dogs as now, they become a disturbance and a danger to animals in the area.” When animals that are unwanted in Norwegian fauna are found, they are normally trapped and killed. Raccoon dog is one such animal that has been found in Pasvik. Asheim says he will not start taking the wild dogs out until he is ordered to do so by environmental authorities.
Stray dogs from Russia are unwanted in Norway because they can infect dogs and other animals with dreaded illnesses like rabies and Echinococcus (tapeworms). Both diseases have been found on the Kola Peninsula. Two wild dogs were shot in Pasvik in December and sent to examination, but none of them had any diseases.
When Bjørne Kvernmo docked his ship, “Havsel,” at the port in Tromsø this month, he knew it would be the end of a tradition he’s kept up for 40 years. With his return, northern Norway’s long-standing seal hunt had finally come to a close.
According to a doctoral dissertation to be published by the University of Helsinki, the indigenous Sámi people of Northern Finland generally have lower cancer rates than the rest of the country’s population.