Rudolph is probably feeling tight about this.
Just days before Christmas, Norway's Supreme Court ordered a local man to kill off some of his reindeer herd in an effort to preserve pasture land. The state ruled that 25-year-old Jovsset Ante Sara, who resides in the indigenous Sami community in the Norwegian Arctic, must put down 41 of his 116 reindeer to decrease the threat of overgrazing, according to the Guardian. But the herder isn’t going down without a fight.
Sara has successfully challenged two state orders to kill off large portion of his herd, arguing that these drastic reductions would make it difficult to support his family. He also claimed that the orders would violate indigenous rights. The Supreme court didn’t agree and upheld the state’s claim that reduction was necessary and “in the interests of the whole reindeer husbandry industry.”
“It shows the court does not believe the Sami people can decide on their own destiny,” Sara’s attorney, Trond Pedersen Biti, told the Guardian. “The government seems to believe that the reindeer herders do not know best.”
The publication reports this legal battle has been going on since 2014, and has sparked a new debate about human rights vs. environmental policy. The case landed national headlines earlier this month when Sara's sister, Maret Anne Sara, hung a curtain of 400 bullet-holed reindeer skulls outside the parliament in Oslo.
Biti told the Guardian that Sara intends to take his fight to the European court of human rights.