Compensations of the Damages

The current compensation system covers about half of the damage caused by large predators.

The compensation is paid to the reindeer herder or, if the owner cannot be found, to the reindeer herding cooperative. The amount will compensate for the value of the reindeer. It does not, however, compensate for the loss of breeding profits or the extra costs of additional herding, fencing, searching for carcasses and hunting the large predators that caused the damage.

Damages are paid to the herder or reindeer herding cooperative in accordance with the Damages to Wildlife Act (105/2009), within the limits of the state budget. If the compensation cannot be paid in full, an equal amount is deducted from each person entitled to compensation. At present, the maximum amount of compensation is 10 million euros.

Compensation is divided into three different groups: damage to reindeer, loss of calves and exceptional damage to reindeer.

Compensation for damage caused by large carnivores to reindeer in Finland 2000-2023.

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.