Minister of Fisheries Skjæran comments on Freya the walrus case: “Euthanasia was the best option” 

Freya walrusPhoto: Tor Erik Schrøder / NTB
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Euthanasia of Freya the walrus was the best option, Fisheries Minister Bjørnar Skjæran (AP) replied to a written question from the Green Party (MDG).

People did not follow the authorities’ recommendations to keep their distance from Freya, Skjæran wrote.

“This resulted in situations where both the public and the walrus were in danger of being injured, or lives could have been lost. The animal gradually also appeared to be more stressed,” he added.

The MDG’s Lan Marie Berg asked the Minister of Fisheries to explain what assessments the Directorate of Fisheries made when it was decided to put down the walrus and why measures such as increased security or stunning and moving the animal were not carried out.

The Minister of Fisheries referred to the Animal Welfare Act and the Natural Diversity Act.

Assessments

“A decision to euthanize must be factually justified and reasonably balance various considerations. Such a balance was reached in this case,” Skjæran explained.

Anesthesia and moving the animal were considered too difficult and risky.

Freya the walrus was euthanized on August 14 by personnel from the Directorate of Fisheries after the animal spent much of the summer in Oslo. The Directorate feared that dangerous situations would arise between Freya and humans.

Source: © NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today / #NorwayTodayNews

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