Duck hunting in the spring - risk to biodiversity and animal welfare


Report no:

Publishing: 10.10.2022

Key message:

VKM will assess the risk posed to biodiversity and animal welfare by traditional Sami duck hunting in the spring.

The assessment has been commissioned by the Norwegian Environmental Agency.

As part of the assessment VKM will also identify and describe risk-reducing measures. This includes different scenarios for harvest, both in terms of the selection of species and the number of individuals that can be shot.


Hunting ducks in the spring has been, and still is, strongly rooted in the Sami culture in Kautokeino. Historically, the hunt was important because it provided food during a critical phase in the spring.

The spring hunt is not in accordance with modern principles and practices for game management. VKM’s assessment will be part of a knowledge base with an overall assessment of Sami cultural traditions, including the significance of spring hunting for exercising these traditions, given international obligations to protect the rights of indigenous peoples.

Project group

The project group consists of:

• Bjørnar Ytrehus, Chair, VKM Panel on Microbial Ecology
• Katrine Eldegard, Member, VKM Panel on Alien Organisms and Trade in Endangered Species
• Jan Ove Bustnes, external expert, Norwegian Institute for Nature Research (NINA)
• Kjersti S. Kvie, Project Manager, VKM Secretariat
• Dean Basic, assisting Project Manager, VKM Secretariat

The assessment will be approved by the VKM Panel on Alien Organisms and Trade in Endangered Species (CITES), and together with a member from the VKM Panel VKM on Animal Health and Welfare, will be responsible for the risk assessment.
The report is planned to be published in the autumn of 2022.


The Norwegian Scientific Committee for Food and Environment

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