Norway orders reindeer cull days before Christmas

Norway orders reindeer cull days before Christmas

A small reindeer herder from the indigenous Sami community in the Norwegian Arctic has lost an appeal with Norway's top court over a ruling that he must cull his 200-strong herd to get 75.

Jovsset Ante Sara, 25, has been successful in two previous challenges to reduce the size of his herd, suggesting he cannot make a living with such a large cull.

He says he will now take his case to the European Court of Human Rights.

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The government wants Mr Sara to reduce the herd to help prevent overgrazing on the tundra.

Norway's Supreme Court said the cull order did not violate Sara's human rights.

According to the Guardian, defence lawyer Trond Pedersen Biti said the ruling "doesn't take into account the rights of the Sami people" , adding they would appeal to the European court of human rights, the UN body in Geneva, Switzerland.

The Telegraph reports that earlier this month, Mr Sara's sister, Maret Anne Sara, drew attention to the case by hanging up a curtain made of 400 bullet-ridden reindeer skulls outside Norway's parliament.

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Best things to do in Northern Norway
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Best things to do in Northern Norway
Husky sledding is a must if you're visiting Northern Norway and you'll find some of the friendliest, loveliest huskies in Alta. With their tongues out and completely silent, the Alaskan huskies at Holmen Husky can run for hours and will take you on an amazing adventure through snow-covered forests and along Alta River. After a ride through the magical landscape, you can meet the dogs and enjoy a hot drink in front of a bonfire. If you're a dog lover and don't want to leave this wonderful place, there are luxury tents for glamping and Northern Lights viewing. Dog sledding for 15km costs £120 per person.
If you've always dreamed of spending the night in a hotel made of ice, you'll adore Sorrisniva Igloo Hotel, located 20km from Alta. Have a drink in the ice bar and browse the impressive ice sculptures before snuggling up in a sleeping bag at the -6C hotel. Completely rebuilt from scratch with a new theme each year, the hotel offers a one-of-a-kind experience. And when you need to warm up, there's a main building with a sauna and an excellent restaurant. Overnight stays including transfers and breakfast cost £210 for adults, £110 for children.

Don't wait for the Northern Lights to come to you. Get out and about to see the spectacular phenomenon on a Northern Lights hunt. With Glod Explorer, you'll be in the hands of expert guides who will take you to the best spots to see the Aurora Borealis. You'll leave the lights of Alta behind and travel northwards towards Skillefjordnes, north-east towards Skaidi or southwards towards Kautokeino in search of the famous lights. While Glod's Aurora hunters can't guarantee the lights will make an appearance, if they're out they'll know where to take you. And don't forget your DSLR as your guide can help you capture the display too. Northern Lights hunting costs £200 for adults, £100 for children.

Alta's Northern Lights Cathedral is an architectural marvel offering more than a place for worship. The titanium-clad structure was built in 2013 and designed by Link Arkitektur and Schmidt Hammer Lassen as a focal point for the town. Its design was based on the swirls of the Aurora Borealis and inside you'll find exposed concrete walls, timber panelling and warm lighting, with high-tech features such as the sound and lighting controlled by iPad. While the church room can accommodate 350 worshippers, the architectural landmark was also built as a public venue from which the Northern Lights can be viewed.

At Alta Museum you can explore Northern Europe's largest rock carving area, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The mysterious carvings are 2,000 to 6,200 years old and portray the life of hunters and fishermen. There are thousands of carvings in the area, showing the communication between the worlds of the living and spirits. Spend a day at this intriguing museum and browse the fascinating art displaying prehistoric social life, hunting, dancing and rituals. Winter entrance fee £6 for adults, £1 for children.

There's no feeling quite like standing at the top of mainland Europe as you look out towards the Svalbard Islands. The North Cape offers an experience and views like no other. In the summer, the crowds gather at the iconic globe monument to witness the midnight sun and in the winter, it's a brilliant spot to enjoy the Northern Lights. Make your trip all the more special by getting there on a snowmobile and spend the night at the visitor's centre Nordkapphall, where you can see exhibitions about the North Cape's long history, watch a film showing the four seasons at the North Cape and even send a postcard stamped with a North Cape postmark. A North Cape Expedition with Destinasjon 71 Nord, including snowmobiling from Honningsvag to the North Cape, an overnight stay and food costs £950 per person.

The best way to get around and explore Northern Norway during winter is by snowmobile. It gives you the chance to discover the breathtaking landscape, try something new and exciting, and (fingers crossed) see the Northern Lights. Fast, fun and thrilling, a snowmobiling adventure will take you through the magnificent Arctic landscape and to places you could not usually experience. On an organised snowmobile safari, you will experience the Finnmark nature like the Norwegians and can attempt challenging trails over steep mountains and through wooded hills. Sorrisniva offers snowmobile safaris in Alta starting outside the Igloo hotel for £165 per person on one snowmobile, or £145 per person for two people per snowmobile. Snowmobile safaris from Honningsvag to North Cape with Destinasjon 71 Nord cost £250 per person.
This small city with just 3,000 inhabitants and brightly coloured wooden buildings is a wonderful place to explore on foot. Soak up the hospitable atmosphere, meet the lovely locals and browse the boutiques selling silver, knitwear and other traditional items, such as Once Upon A Time, where you can pick up handmade jewellery and paintings from artist Erica Haugli. Visit the parish church, the oldest building in Honningsvag, which was built in 1885 and the city's only building not to be burned down when Norway was invaded by Nazi Germany. Mainland Europe's northernmost city is also home to the North Cape Museum (Nordkappmuseet), where you can learn about Arctic fishery, everyday life in Finnmark and explore the lives of the indigenous Sami people.

It might not be the first destination you think of for a foodie break, but Northern Norway has plenty to offer gourmands. Firstly, the king crab is delicious, whether you eat it plain with buttered bread or creatively cooked at a fine dining restaurant. If you like to catch your food before eating it, head out on a deep sea rafting king crab safari around the North Cape, where you'll stop and check wicker traps before stopping to cook and sample the tasty monsters. Destinasjon 71° Nord offers king crab safaris, including deep sea rafting, fishing and eating priced at £110 for adults and £55 for children under 12. Fresh salmon, pollock, cod, dried fish and juicy shell fish are also caught from the fjords and ocean off Norway, making this country a real treat for seafood lovers. Reindeer and goat meat are also Northern Norwegian favourites, and cloudberries, blueberries and lingonberries are great accompaniments for dinner and as desserts. For breakfast you must try the waffles with sour cream and strawberry jam!

After getting active on a snowmobile, wearing snowshoes or going out to sea on a king crab safari, the best way to relax is in an outdoor hot tub surrounded by snow. Brave hot tubbers can warm up before jumping out of the tub and rolling around in the snow or taking a dip in the ice-cold sea. Destinasjon 71 Nord's Fisherman's Cabins by the Sarnesfjord in the south of Mageroya Island are perfect for relaxing in a hot tub with splendid sea views and a drink in hand (£15 per person). Those looking for a traditional red fishing cabin stay can spend the night in one of three waterside cabins.
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