“Striking the balance between conservation, farming and hunting can be difficult.”

Goose meat from the Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) licensed cull of geese in Orkney can be sold in the rest of Scotland.

Claudia Rowse, SNH’s Head of Natural Resource Management said:

‘We are delighted to announce Scotland-wide sales of resident greylag goose meat for a short trial period. Now, licensed sellers from Orkney will have a chance to develop the market for their product and people can try goose for themselves, on Orkney, and across Scotland. “

The sales are permitted from August 1st to 31st of October 2019.

Claudia Rowse said:

“Wild geese are an important part of Scotland’s nature, but their rapid rise in numbers has been challenging for farmers and crofters. Striking the balance between conservation, farming and hunting can be difficult.

“Our goal is to give farmers and crofters the tools they need to safeguard their crops, enabling them to control goose numbers sustainably, and sell goose meat for profit.”

Sale of wild goose meat shot outwith the project is still prohibited under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981

The announcement comes after a successful boycott by some farmers of the Stoat Eradication Project run by  SNH and the bird protection organisation RSPB Scotland, with the ‘generous support’ of the National Lottery through the Heritage Lottery Fund and the EU’s Life Fund. 

The Orkney Native Wildlife Project (ONWP),  the official title of the  stoat eradication project, is supported by Orkney Islands Council and received £6million of funding making it the largest project of its kind in the world.

Stoat by Peter Trimming

16,000 traps were due to be set but some farmers were not permitting the traps to be put on their land whilst their was an impasse over the goose cull.

A new goose cull plan has been published by SNH for Orkney to allow shooting to take place all year round. The new licence will begin for the new close season in February 2020.

Alan Corrigall, Chairman of the Orkney Branch of NFUS , said:

“We are grateful to SNH for making the changes that will allow shooting to take place throughout the year, where necessary.

“Whilst the new licence will not control geese numbers in itself, it will make much easier for those undertaking shooting to get the necessary consent between February and June.”

Farmers in Orkney  will be able to obtain immediate permission rather than having to apply for a specific, individual licence which can take around 10 days.

The goose count in 2018 recorded 63,534 birds.

greylag goose

greylag goose

Reporter: Fiona Grahame

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