Na h-Eileanan an Iar SNP MSP, Alasdair Allan, has welcomed news that Scottish Natural Heritage are moving to cull 5500 Greylag Geese as part of a pilot project on Orkney. Plans are also being developed for additional pilots on other islands, including in the Uists.
Alasdair Allan commented:
“I am pleased to see Scottish Natural Heritage taking this action to cull Greylag Geese. Many crofters and others in the Western Isles are only too familiar with the difficulties caused by the expanding numbers of greylag geese. Unfortunately, so far, less drastic measures have so far failed to have the desired impact.
“For some time now I have been raising this problem with the Scottish Government and I am aware that in many places, particularly parts of Uist, Harris and the Westside of Lewis, greylag geese are creating enormous difficulties for crofters and local communities. Not only that, but in many areas, the consequent decline of crofting actually destroys the habitats in which many of our rarest bird and other species live. This creates a common interest between many crofters and conservationists in seeing this problem addressed.
“While there is much that can be done through non-lethal methods of control, crofters face enough problems as it is, without massive depredation by geese to croft land. A radical solution such as shooting is required to control numbers, before the situation gets completely out of hand and causes more problems, not just for crofting but for the wider environment.
“I have written to the Environment Minister, Paul Wheelhouse, today to ask if he can make efforts to liaise and consult with affected local communities in the Western Isles to try and find a solution to this issue which will address both crofting and environmental concerns.”
Hebrides Today brings you the latest news from the Western Isles