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Monday, 21 June 2010

Accidental deaths of reintroduction WHITE-TAILED SEA EAGLES in County Kerry, IRELAND

PROTECTING WHITE-TAILED SEA EAGLES

The following letter has been sent clarifying the facts surrounding the unfortunate accidental deaths through poisoning of reintroduction WHITE-TAILED SEA EAGLES in County Kerry, Ireland. At no point were such actions directed at the eagles but as a result of controlling vermin against lamb attacks, deaths of these majestic birds has been a very unfortunate side-effect.

''We wish to clarify matters regarding news coverage of the poisoning of WHITE-TAILED SEA EAGLES in Co Kerry. This publicity has led to a number of letters by the public that are potentially damaging to farming interests in Kerry as they give the false impression of the widespread use of poisons.

Sheep farmers in particular have a difficult job to produce lamb reared to high environmental standards while protecting their flock against losses to foxes and crows. The vast majority of landowners do not use poison to control foxes and crows, but now use alternative safer methods and are careful to adhere to the many regulations farmers now have to comply with under cross-compliance regulations.

On behalf of the organisations we represent we wish to state that it is our belief that the incidents in Co Kerry have resulted from accidental poisoning as a result of ingesting poison targeting foxes during the lambing period when foxes are known to take lambs. Thus, contrary to suggestions in some correspondence, eagles have not been deliberately targeted. Further, we do not, nor have ever condoned the use of poison illegally, either on fallen livestock or using banned substances. On the contrary, all of our organisations are actively promoting the use of safer alternative means of control. Farming in upland areas in Co Kerry complies to high environmental standards in order to produce a high quality product. It is not in the interest of any of us, or the members we represent, to support any activity that would damage this image.

JAMES MacCARTHY, Chairman, Irish Farmers’ Association, Co Kerry;
DENNIS CARROLL, Secretary, Irish Creamery Milk Suppliers’ Association, CoKerry;
GABRIEL GILMARTIN, President, Irish Cattle and Sheep Breeders’ Asscociation;
MICHAEL GOTTSTEIN, Sheep Specialist, Teagasc, Co Kerry;
ALLAN MEE, Golden Eagle Trust, Black Valley, Beaufort, Co Kerry
Det PAT KELLIHER, An Garda Síochána, Killarney, Co. Kerry