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Leitrim councillor says farmers should be allowed kill pine martens where necessary

Jul 25, 2023 07:48 By Shannonside News
Leitrim councillor says farmers should be allowed kill pine martens where necessary
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The issue of pine martens has caused controversy since the mammals numbers have increased in recent years

A Leitrim councillor is calling for farmers to be allowed shoot pine martens in order to protect their livestock.

Councillor Gerry Dolan who put a notice of motion down on the issue at this week's meeting of Ballinamore Municipal District also says he doesn't seen the sense in spending money on bird protection only to have them killed by the pine martens.

The pine marten is native to Ireland but was almost wiped out in the earlier part of the 20th century.

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It's been protected here since 1976 and numbers are said to be building slowly, spreading from its original refuge in the west and south, across into the midlands and north-west.

Councillor Gerry Dolan who's a farmer himself says he's seen pine martens kill young lambs and believes there should be some provision made for farmers to prevent this happening.

He also says the large predator's impact on other species at risk is another reason why the Department of Agriculture needs to review its policy.

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'Now we're trying to protect birds , and native birds and so forth, like the Hen Harrier and the Curlews, and I witnessed myself just yesterday , where there was a Curlew picking in the grass, chirping away, and out of the hedge came a pine marten and killed the Curlew.

I can't see what's the sense in spending a lot of money , (by all means I agree with doing it to protect the Curlew and Hen Harriers and so forth), and allowing these pine martens to go out and kill them .'

 

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