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Islay Branch Meet EU Officials on Goose Threat

A delegation of farmers from the island of Islay, accompanied by NFU Scotland Vice President Rob Livesey and George Lyon MEP, met with senior Brussels officials today (Tuesday, 15 October) to discuss the growing threat that the Barnacle goose population poses to the viability of agriculture on the island.

The main aim of the meeting with representatives of DG Environment was to discuss the practicalities and legalities for effective management of the soaring Greenland Barnacle goose population that recognises the considerable impact goose numbers have on farmland.

Chairman of Islay’s NFUS branch, Robert Epps said:

“We’ve had an informative discussion with officials from the commission about how to ensure both the viability of farming on the island and a healthy goose population.

“We hope this can contribute positively to the future sustainability of farming, to run alongside a population of the internationally protected Greenland Barnacle goose.

“Today’s meeting followed our recent talks with the Scottish Environment Minister Paul Wheelhouse and our local MSP Michael Russell. We will now seek to make further progress with the Scottish Government to protect the interests of our members on the island of Islay.”

George Lyon MEP added:

"This was a constructive meeting where the European Commission clarified concerns raised by Islay farmers.
 
"There was a clear message that the task of finding a solution lies with the Scottish Government.  It must either justify control measures to limit the population of Barnacle geese or, should it be unable to do so, continue to compensate farmers for losses incurred due to the winter numbers of geese.”  

Notes to Editors

  • A photograph of the Islay delegation meeting Commission officials, accompanied by NFU Scotland Vice President Rob Livesey and George Lyon MEP is available on request.

Ends

Contact Bob Carruth on 0131 472 4006

Date Published:

News Article No.: 125/13


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