Petition to Review Policy of Wild Geese

One of the major tourist attractions on Islay are the thousands of Barnacle and other Geese arriving from Greenland on the island in October. They usually stay until April or early May and feed mainly on the fertile grasslands of Islay's farmers. This may sound harmless but when the geese graze in such large numbers the grass is eaten away almost to its roots, leaving little grass for livestock to feed on in spring. This problem has become worse in recent years. The geese population has increased due to protection measures by SNH and other organisations. It seems logical that something has to change soon before farmers give up their businesses. This is why the Scottish Crofting Federation has issued a call to crofters and farmers to sign up to the on-line petition before it closes on September 1. I quote from an article on the Scottish Farmer website: Continue reading.....

Migratory wild geese and their prodigious appetites are an on-going problem for many crofters and farmers in the Highlands and the Parliamentary petition aims to make their voices heard. "Not only are geese numbers increasing but they are spending more time on wintering grounds severely affecting crop and livestock production. The Scottish Government must recognise the damage being caused by goose predation and be more pro-active in tackling this threat to farming businesses."

Islay, Jura and Colonsay NFUS chairman Robert Epps believes that action must be taken now before farmers leave the industry altogether: "Islay NFUS members sympathise with all areas affected by expanding wild geese populations - particularly out on the islands where livestock production is so marginal and expensive. We urge farmers and crofters to sign the petition and get their local MSP's involved. "Meaningful population reduction measures must take place now to preserve the habitats on which we all rely - a challenge which is even more complicated in other areas, like Islay, where 52,000 geese have Internationally Protected status. "It is not just the wildlife living on the edge in the Hebrides, but the very farmers supporting and feeding the wildlife that are on the edge economically and we are very close to falling off that edge, facing the choice of further reducing production or even giving up livestock production altogether," he warned.

You can sign the online petition here

Tag: geese farming