“Humane Theriocides”: Traces of Compassion for Animals in the Norwegian Legal Discourse on Illegal Bear and Wolf Killings


  • Martine S.B. Lie Universitat Rovira i Virgili



Paraules clau:

Illegal hunts, endangered species, animal harm, species justice, large predators, legal discourse, critical discourse analysis


Wolves and brown bears are critically endangered in Norway. Their population is approximately 100 and 150 individuals, respectively, and is kept at these low numbers through licensed hunts. These animals are also vulnerable to illegal theriocides (killings of animals by humans), which poses a considerable threat to the species’ survival. The theriocides also harm individual animal victims and impinge on their intrinsic value. This article assesses whether a consideration of harm to the individual animals is part of the Norwegian courts’ problem definition and discourse order regarding such illegal hunts by developing and conducting a “critical green victimological discourse analysis” of verdicts. Moreover, the courts’ portrayals of the victims are assessed—by asking the question: do they acknowledge them as such, or continue the speciesist ideology of the Anthropocene, seeing animals mainly as commodities and components of nature?


Les dades de descàrrega encara no estan disponibles.


BEIRNE, Piers. “Animal Rights, Animal Abuse and Green Criminology”, in Piers Beirne and Nigel South (eds.), Issues in Green Criminology, Willan Publishing. Cullompton, 2007, (pp. 55–83).

BEIRNE and Piers. “Theriocide: Naming Animal Killing”, in International Journal for Crime, Justice and Social Democracy 3, no. 2, 2014. (pp. 49–66).

BERŪKŠTIENĖ, Donata. “Legal Discourse Reconsidered: Genres of Legal Texts”, in Comparative Legilinguistics 28, 2016. (pp. 92–119).

BRISMAN, Avi and SOUTH, Nigel. “Green Criminology and Environmental Crimes and Harms”, in Sociology Compass 13, no. 1, 2019. (pp. 1–12).

CHRISTIE, Nils. “The Ideal Victim”, in Ezzat A. Fattah (ed.), From Crime Policy to Victim Policy: Reorienting the Justice System, Palgrave Macmillan UK. London 1986. (p. 17–30).

ELLEFSEN, Rune. Med lov til å pine: Om bruk og beskyttelse av dyr [With license to torment: On use and protection of animals]. Fritt forlag / Inspirator forlag. Oslo, 2013.

ELLEFSEN, Rune. Ny dyrevelferdslov: Beskyttes dyr eller næring?: Interessekonflikt og motstridende syn på dyrs status i lovprosessen forut for dyrevelferdsloven [New animal welfare act: Are animals or industry protected?]. Master thesis, University of Oslo, 2009. <https://www.duo.uio.no/handle/10852/22579>.

FAIRCLOUGH, Norman. Analysing Discourse: Textual Analysis for Social Research. Routledge. London, 2003.

FIGARI, Helene and SKOGEN, Ketil. “Social representations of the wolf”, in Acta Sociologica 54, no. 4, 2011. (pp. 317-332).

FRANCIONE, Gary L. Animals as Persons: Essays on the Abolition of Animal Exploitation. Columbia University Press. New York, 2008.

GRAVER, Hans Petter “Vanlig juridisk metode? Om rettsdogmatikken som juridisk sjanger” [Ordinary legal method? On legal dogmatics as a legal genre], Tidsskrift for Rettsvitenskap 121, 2, 2008. pp. 149-178.

INGEBRIGTSEN, Espen. “Talepresentasjon i straffedommer” [Speech presentation in penal sentences], in Tidsskrift for Rettsvitenskap 132, 5, 2019. (pp. 443-490).

JEPSON, Jill. “A Linguistic Analysis of Discourse on the Killing of Nonhuman Animals", in Society & Animals 16, no. 2, 2008. (pp. 127–48).

JØRGENSEN, Marianne Winther and PHILLIPS, Louise. Diskursanalyse som teori og metode [Discourse analysis as theory and method]. Roskilde Universitetsforlag. Fredriksberg, 1999.

KJUS, Audun, “Homo narrans i strafferetten” [Homo narrans in criminal law], in Kritisk Juss 32, 3, 2006. (pp. 254-258).

LARSEN, Guri. “Dyr Og Natur Som Menneskets Eiendom” [Animals and Nature as Humans' Property], in Materialisten 41, no. 3, 2014. (pp. 27–45).

LAUGERUD, Solveig. “Common Sense, (Ab)Normality and Bodies in Norwegian Rape Verdicts”, in NORA - Nordic Journal of Feminist and Gender Research 28, no. 1, 2020. (pp. 18–29).

LIBERG, Olof, CHAPRON, Guillaume, WABAKKEN, Petter, PEDERSEN, Hans Christian, HOBBS, N. Thompson and SAND, Håkan. “Shoot, Shovel and Shut up: Cryptic Poaching Slows Restoration of a Large Carnivore in Europe”, in Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences 279, no. 1730, 7 March 2012. (pp. 910–15).

LIE, Martine S. B. and SOLLUND, Ragnhild. “Speciesism and Theriocide”, in Avi Brisman, Eamonn Carrabine and Nigel South (eds.) The Routledge Companion to Criminological Theory and Concepts. Routledge. Abingdon, 2018. (pp. 386–90).

LINZEY, Andrew. “Is Christianity Irredeemably Speciesist? ”, in Susan J. Armstrong and Richard G. Botzler (eds.), The Animal Ethics Reader. Taylor & Francis. New York, 2016. (3rd Edition), (pp. 294–300).

MCCLANAHAN, Bill and BRISMAN, Avi. “Green Criminology for Social Sciences: Introduction to the Special Issue”, in Social Sciences 9, no. 10, 2020. (pp. 1–4).

MÆHLE, Synne Sæther. “Gjelder det andre regler for rettslig argumentasjon i rettsdogmatikken enn for domstolene?” [Do different rules apply to legal argumentation in legal dogmatics than to the courts?], Jussens Venner 39, 5-6, 2004. (pp. 329-342).

PODOSKY, Paul-Mikhail. “A Linguistic Method of Deception: The Difference Between Killing Humanely and a Humane Killing”, in Journal of Animal Ethics 9, no. 1, 2019. (pp. 76-83).

RÄIKKÖNEN, Jannikke, VUCETICH, John A., VUCETICH, Leah M., PETERSON, Rolf O. and NELSON, Michael P. “What the Inbred Scandinavian Wolf Population Tells Us about the Nature of Conservation”, in PLOS ONE 8, no. 6, 2013, (pp. 1-7).

ROVDATA. “Bjørn - Bestandsstatus [Bear - Population status] ”. <https://rovdata.no/Brunbj%C3%B8rn/Bestandsstatus.aspx> [Retrieved 10.6.2021].

ROVDATA. “Ulv - Bestandsstatus [Wolf - Population status]”. <https://rovdata.no/Ulv/Bestandsstatus.aspx> [Retrieved 10.6.2021].

SINGER, Peter. Animal Liberation. Thorsons. London, 1991.

SKREDE, Joar. Kritisk Diskursanalyse [Critical Discourse Analysis]. Cappelen Damm akademisk. Oslo, 2017.

SOLLUND, Ragnhild. “A Comment to Gary Francione: Animal Rights versus Animals as Property and Nature”, in Erika Andersson Cederholm, Amelie Björck, Kristina Jennbert and Ann-Sofie Lönngren (eds.), Exploring the Animal Turn: Human-Animal Relations in Science, Society and Culture. Lund University, 2016. (pp. 73–87).

SOLLUND, Ragnhild. “Introduction: Critical Green Criminology — An Agenda for Change”, in Ragnhild Sollund (ed.) Green Harms and Crimes: Critical Criminology in a Changing World. Palgrave Macmillan UK. Basingstoke, 2015. (pp. 1–26).

SOLLUND, Ragnhild. “Speciesism as Doxic Practice Versus Valuing Difference and Plurality”, in Rune Ellefsen, Ragnhild Sollund and Guri Larsen (eds.), Eco-Global Crimes: Contemporary Crimes and Future Challenges. Ashgate, Farnham, 2012. (pp. 91–115).

SOLLUND, Ragnhild. “The Animal Other: Legal and Illegal Theriocide”, in Matthew Hall, Jennifer Maher, Angus Nurse, Gary Potter, Nigel South, and Tanya Wyatt (eds.), Greening Criminology in the 21st Century: Contemporary Debates and Future Directions in the Study of Environmental Harm. Routledge. London, 2017. (pp. 79–99).

SOLLUND, Ragnhild. “Wildlife Management, Species Injustice and Ecocide in the Anthropocene”, in Critical Criminology 28, no. 3, 2020. (pp. 351–369).

SOLLUND, Ragnhild. “With or without a License to Kill: Human-Predator Conflicts and Theriocide in Norway”, in Avi Brisman, Nigel South and Rob White (eds.) Environmental Crime and Social Conflict. Contemporary and Emerging Issues. Ashgate, Farnham 2016. (pp. 95–124).

SOUTH, Nigel. “Green Criminology: Reflections, Connections, Horizons”, in International Journal for Crime, Justice and Social Democracy 3, no. 2, 2014. (pp. 5–20).

TØNNESEN, Morten. “Menneskeveldet: antropocen - menneskets tidsalder” [The human reign: the Anthropocene - the era of humans], in Ragnhild Aslaug Sollund, Guri Larsen, and Morten Tønnesen (eds.), Hvem er villest i landet her?: råskap mot dyr og natur i antropocen, menneskets tidsalder. Scandinavian Academic Press. Oslo, 2013. (pp. 47–56).

WHITE, Rob. “Green Victimology and Non-Human Victims”, in International Review of Victimology 24, no. 2, 2018. (pp. 239–55).

WHITE, Rob. “The Foundations of Eco-Global Criminology”, in Rune Ellefsen, Ragnhild Sollund, and Guri Larsen (eds.), Eco-Global Crimes: Contemporary Problems and Future Challenges. Routledge. Farnham, 2012. (pp. 15–33).

Legislation and verdicts

International treaties

COUNCIL OF EUROPE. Convention on the Conservation of European Wildlife and Natural Habitats, ETS No.104 (1979). <https://www.coe.int/en/web/conventions/full-list/-/conventions/treaty/104> [Retrieved 10.3.2021].

Domestic legislation

ANIMAL WELFARE ACT, LOV-2009-06-19-97. Translated version by Ministry of Agriculture and Food. <https://www.regjeringen.no/en/dokumenter/animal-welfare-act/id571188/> [Retrieved 2.2.2021].

NATURE DIVERSITY ACT, LOV-2009-06-19-100. Translated version by Ministry of the Environment. <https://www.regjeringen.no/en/dokumenter/nature-diversity-act/id570549/>. [Retrieved 5.3.2021].

Judicial decisions















Com citar

Lie, M. S. (2021). “Humane Theriocides”: Traces of Compassion for Animals in the Norwegian Legal Discourse on Illegal Bear and Wolf Killings. Revista Catalana De Dret Ambiental, 12(1). https://doi.org/10.17345/rcda3085