Game group offers help in pest control in eagles area

Fri, May 18, 2012, 01:00

Ireland’s largest game shooting organisation is offering free pest control in two areas where white-tailed eagles were allegedly poisoned recently.

Director of the National Association of Regional Game Councils Des Crofton said he was horrified to learn about the apparent poisoning of white-tailed eagles in Mayo and Donegal. He said his group, which has supported the Golden Eagle Trust from the beginning, condemned “the indiscriminate laying of poison as being not only irresponsible but damaging to the interests of all responsible landowners and land users in Ireland”.

“The gun clubs in Mayo and Donegal, all of whom are equally horrified about this news, are willing to provide a free pest control service when requested,” Mr Crofton said.

Under new regulations restricting the use of poisons, it is now illegal to target birds and foxes in this way, he added.

“The irresponsible use of poison baits has killed numerous working dogs and domestic pets and represents a serious threat to protected birds in Ireland. The National Association of Regional Game Councils is urging anyone with further information to contact their local National Parks ranger or the Garda Síochána.”

Meanwhile the co-ordinator of the Golden Eagle Project, Lorcan O’Toole, says he fears a pair of nesting eagles that have disappeared from Co Donegal may have been poisoned.

Mr O’Toole said the birds had been nesting in the western Bluestack Mountains since 2005 but had not been seen since 2011.