Compensations of the Damages

Under the current compensation system, around half of the damages the large carnivores cause are compensated.

The damages are paid for the reindeer herder, or if the owner cannot be solved, the compensation goes to the reindeer herding cooperative. The sum will compensate the value of the reindeer. It will not, however, compensate the loss of their breeding profit or the additional expenses that come from extra herding or building fences, searching carcasses and hunting the large carnivores that have caused the damage.

The damages are compensated according to the Game Animal Damages Act (105/2009) for the herder or reindeer herding cooperative in the limits the state budget. If they cannot be paid fully, there will be an even deduction from each person entitled for the compensation. At the moment, the maximum amount for compensations is 8 million euros.

The compensations are divided into three different groups: damages to reindeer, loss of calves and exceptionally large damages to reindeer.

Compensation of large carnivore damages in Finland - reindeer

The compensation on damages to reindeer is not more than the current value of the reindeer multiplied with 1.5. The Agency for Rural affairs defines the value at least every five years. The current value is determined on the basis of the average weight of the type of reindeer and breeding coefficient per type of reindeer as well as the producer price for reindeer meat.  The producer price for reindeer meat is calculated as the average of the producer prices of the past three reindeer herding year (Game Animal Damages Act 13 §; 1, 3)

The compensation for loss of calves is calculated according to the information related to the reindeer herding cooperative in question. It involves

  • The producer price for reindeer meat;
  • The estimated calving percentage for the reindeer herding area;
  • The number of female reindeer in the cooperative, and
  • Estimated calve mortality percentage due to large carnivores in the cooperative area.

Further provisions are issued by Government Decree at least every three years on calving percentage estimated for the reindeer herding area and calve mortality percentage estimated according to the reindeer herding cooperative. (Game Animal Damages Act 14 §; 2, 4).

A special compensation may be paid if there are exceptionally large damage to reindeer. Also when the number of damages to reindeer in the cooperative area from the past three years in comparison to the total number of reindeer left alive and slaughtered exceeds the minimum number specified by Government Decree. The special compensation is double to the normal compensation. The reindeer herding cooperatives entitled to this specific compensation are confirmed by administrative decision of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry. (Game Animal Damages Act 15 §; 1-3). In 2014, the minimum amount was 3 % and there were 8 reindeer herding cooperatives that were entitled to the compensations.

The total amount of compensations has been growing ever since Finland joined the EU due to the changes in conservation policies. In the beginning of the decade, the compensations were lower for a while but since 2004 the rise has been significant. This is mostly influenced by the constantly growing damages in an exceptionally large area and the positively developed price of the reindeer meat.