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Union Calls on Scottish Government to Bolster Goose Management Funding

Article date: 
15 March 2017
News Article Number: 
39/17
Geese 2

NFU Scotland is calling on Scottish Government to commit to continued funding of Greylag goose management schemes.  In addition, with large populations of geese establishing themselves elsewhere in Scotland, the Union has asked Scottish Government to make provision for supporting new but necessary pilot schemes in other parts of the country.

The Union has given its full support to calls from the Orkney, Tiree & Coll and Uist goose groups regarding the funding of adaptive management pilot schemes for Greylag geese, as well as stressing the urgent need for a clear plan for the long-term management of Greylag and Barnacle geese.

In the letter to Scottish Government, NFU Scotland’s Vice President Martin Kennedy also highlighted that the proposed winding down of the adaptive management pilot on Orkney would not only affect farmers and crofters but impact on efforts to improve water quality on the islands.

Mr Kennedy added: “Goose management continues to be a vital but resource intensive exercise in many of the most economically fragile parts of Scotland where grazing by large populations of geese challenges the viability of farmers and crofters.

“We are acutely aware of the competing pressures on all public-sector budgets, but we firmly believe that existing funding levels for each goose management scheme or pilot project must be maintained until ways can be found to effectively and efficiently manage goose populations to sustainable levels and keep them there.

“We are calling on the Scottish Government to provide new funding to sustain the Greylag adaptive management pilots to avoid losing the benefits of previous investment and to protect farmers, crofters and others.

“And, with large populations of geese establishing themselves elsewhere in Scotland, it is also important we pIan for the future.  If existing or new areas provide appropriate evidence on the need for new management schemes, then NFU Scotland believes, in the interests of fairness, that new funds should be allocated rather than being top sliced from existing goose schemes.”

Ends

Contact Bob Carruth on 0131 472 4006
 

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