top of page
  • C4PMC

£400,000 of taxpayer’s money allocated to compensate Scottish sheep farmers after sea eagle reintroductions kill lambs


CREDIT: Douglas Currie/Deadline News 


Following the reintroduction of sea eagles into Scotland their numbers have increased significantly with there now thought to be between 130-150 breeding pairs on the West Coast alone.

 

With wingspans that can reach 2.5 metres local farmers had been left helpless after an increasing number of eagles have raised their chicks on a steady diet of newborn lambs, which are born in spring, just as chicks hatch. 

 

Now though, in response to the losses, the Scottish Government have announced £400,000 has been allocated to the Sea Eagle Management Scheme (SEMS) to help farmers explore different management techniques and trial new prevention measures.

 

Farmers can receive between £500 up to £5,000 to help manage the effects of the species as part of SEMS. The news has been welcomed by farmers and the Scottish Agriculture Minister, Jim Fairlie, who said “They (farmers and crofters) have expressed their frustrations and I fully understand both the mental and financial toll that eagle attacks are having on them and their businesses. I hope this news provides some much needed reassurance for farmers.”

 

A spokesperson for NatureScot said: “NatureScot and the Scottish Government recognise that white-tailed eagles can cause economic impacts to farms and crofts in some locations.

“We are committed to provide continued support to farmers and crofters through the Sea Eagle Management Scheme, especially for those suffering the greatest impacts.”


Whilst the compensation scheme will provide short term comforts to those farmers who have lost the livestock, the whole project lacks a visible long-term strategy. There is a danger otherwise it can just become a self-perpetuating cycle, whereby the number of eagles continues to increase at an unsustainable rate, leading to more predation of lambs being carried out, with more taxpayer’s money then needed to compensate those farmers.

 

A spokesperson for NatureScot said: “NatureScot and the Scottish Government recognise that white-tailed eagles can cause economic impacts to farms and crofts in some locations.

“We are committed to provide continued support to farmers and crofters through the Sea Eagle Management Scheme, especially for those suffering the greatest impacts.”

 

At some point the policymakers need to think about measures to ensure numbers are at a sustainable level for the long term, not just in terms of the species themselves but factoring in the welfare and economic viability of the local community too.

 

ความคิดเห็น


bottom of page