WCO demands that Freya be allowed to live – fisheries minister says he must act

The authorities’ recommendation is to stay away from the walrus to avoid stressing it, but as the public is not following the recommendations, the Fisheries Directorate said it may be appropriate to euthanize Freya.

– It’s crazy that we talk about killing nature when it gets inconvenient for us, Deputy Head of MDGs Ingrid Liland tells NTB.

They demand the case be over long before Freya or anyone else is harmed – and ask Fisheries Minister Bjørnar Selnes Skjæran (Ap) to find alternatives to avoid euthanasia.

– We have good people in the Directorate of Fisheries and in the rest of the public service who can find solutions that serve animal welfare and show respect for nature, says Liland.

The public must help

The Directorate of Fisheries informs NTB that it is studying solutions to protect both people and animals, and thus prevent dangerous situations from occurring.

– The public must help us do this, and the best way to do this is to keep our distance. Observing and informing the public about keeping the distance is the ongoing measure, says communications adviser Nadia Jdaini.

– Other measures that may be considered are relocation and euthanasia. To be euthanized, there must be a danger to life and health, says Jdaini.

The Directorate of Fisheries said on Thursday that there had been several dangerous situations in the Kadettagen bathing area in Bærum this week and that it had observed people throwing objects at it. They also documented that people bathe with the walrus and search for it at the water’s edge, with their children, to take pictures.

– The way Freya is treated exemplifies to a large extent how we treat animals and nature in several areas of society. We are not showing the respect and understanding that nature and biodiversity need to be able to exist on their own terms, says MDG deputy chief.

– Will be a defeat

The Norwegian Directorate of Fisheries says there are sometimes large crowds of all ages, where everyone clearly deviates from current recommendations to keep their distance.

– The fact that the walrus has become an attraction reinforces the need for additional measures. Our biggest fear is that people will be injured, says Jdaini.

– It will be a defeat that shows that we are unable to control ourselves in the face of nature and wild animals, and I hope that people can see that there are better solutions that preserve biodiversity, respect nature and basic animal welfare.

In recent months, Freya has traveled to both the eastern and western sides of Ytre Oslofjord. She was spotted in Kragerø on April 12 and became a real celebrity a few months later when she settled in and relaxed in several pleasure boats.

On July 17, she arrived in Oslo and has remained in the area ever since.

Chelsea Glisson

"Devoted reader. Thinker. Proud food specialist. Evil internet scholar. Bacon practitioner."

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