2019-04-01  facebooktwitterrss

NSA Expresses its Disapproval at Decision to Release Sea Eagles

The National Sheep Association (NSA) is extremely disappointed by the decision from Natural England to permit the release of 60 individual sea eagles onto the Isle of Wight over a five-year period, a process due to commence this summer.

NSA Chief Executive Phil Stocker comments:
 “NSA is frustrated that consultative procedures and impact assessments have not be done properly or thoroughly and frustrated too that this release will go ahead with the reality of these birds being released into an environment with depleted natural food stocks (something we are told constantly). 

Sea Eagle

NSA is also concerned there will be no compensation or protection for farmers whose stock has been killed, injured or taken by the birds. Mr Stocker continues:
“We have heard of no agreement over the legally binding actions or compensation available to peoples whose livelihoods are affected. Make no mistake these birds are a top of the food chain predator whose behaviour will adapt relating to food needs and availability. With wingspans reaching 6ft we will see them taking livestock and other domestic animals and we will have consciously taken a decision that contradicts our interests in improving animal welfare and avoiding suffering.”

NSA was first made aware of the proposal some months ago and has been supporting farmers to counter the release. Additionally, it has written in detail to Natural England echoing and emphasising the very serious concerns farmers have about the release.

Mr Stocker continues:
 “NSA will continue to support sheep farmers in the region whose businesses may now be affected by this decision.  We will be seeking answers to our questions over legally binding actions that livestock keepers can take, the responsibilities of Government in compensating for losses, and will also be asking what impacts this has for our aspirations to lead the world in animal welfare standards.”

NSA is pleased that the birds cannot be released before a monitoring and management group with representation from key stakeholders and sectors has been established and expects to be invited to be a part of this group.


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