Eagle group’s claims fly in face of the facts

IN ITS efforts to re-introduce an extinct species, the Golden Eagle Trust is sadly advocating the killing of existing species. The trust’s website discourages farmers from threatening eagles by illegally poisoning foxes and suggests that they instead shoot them.

This flies in the face of the facts which show that foxes do not actually pose a threat to sheep farming. In An Irish Beast Book, zoologist Professor James Fairley affirms that “many allegations of lamb killing are based on insufficient or even non-existent evidence.” This is backed up by the National Parks & Wildlife Service who confirm that “foxes seldom kill and eat young lambs”.

Also objectionable is the trust’s suggestion that farmers use Larsen traps to control crows and magpies. These cage traps have been condemned as “inherently cruel” by the RSPCA and are illegal in Denmark from where they originated in the 1950s. Birds caught in Larsen traps desperately bash against the sides in futile bids for freedom. Many suffer broken beaks and cut heads before they are pulled out and strangled.

Crows and magpies may not glide as gracefully as eagles, and foxes may not move as majestically, but they are all equally deserving of life, nonetheless.

Philip Kiernan

Irish Council Against Blood Sports

Mullingar

Co Westmeath

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