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Cull of Canada geese to go-ahead at Windermere

A cull of 200 Canada geese on Windermere will still go ahead, despite a review.

Related: Queen star Brian May wades into row over planned Lake District geese cull

National park bosses had seemed to be making a U-turn, announcing they were to review the decision following widespread outrage.

But the authority today confirmed that after meeting again to discuss the issue, it will press on with the cull.

The news will come as a huge blow to animal rights campaigners, who had hoped the authority would change its stance after the RSPCA came out in opposition to the killings. They are planning to launch a protest in Windermere on Saturday.

An online petition calling for the cull to be scrapped was signed by almost 3,000 people, including animal charities and outraged individuals.

However, the Lake District National Park Authority insists the cull is necessary to protect the local environment from non-native species.

In a statement, the authority’s Windermere Geese Management Group (WGMG) said: “The proposed cull of Canada geese on Windermere has provoked a range of responses from the public. In light of the views expressed, the WGMG has reviewed its approach.

“The group understands the emotive nature of the proposals and the strong beliefs held by some people. But the group remains committed to its original course of action to carry out a managed cull of Canada geese on Windermere.”

It states the Canada goose is an invasive non-native species and the large population on Windermere has a serious negative impact on the economy, environment and adds to pollution in the lake and on surrounding land.

It adds that the geese damage shoreline habitats, lead to displacement of native species, spoil farm grazing and crop land, pollute public and private recreational land and there are public health concerns from pathogens, bacteria and parasites.

The statement continues: “Culling is part of an integrated management strategy that will reduce the number of geese on Windermere. Non-lethal control measures will continue to be used. We will carry out the cull professionally, quickly and humanely in partnership with the landowners.

“We will continue to monitor the effect of the management programme and review our approach.”

However, the RSPCA claims there is little evidence that the non-native birds were polluting the lake or damaging crops, while Animal Aid warns publicity that the cull could drive visitors away from the Lake District.

The cull was first proposed after complaints from landowners.

Have your say

I find the culling of the Canada Geese on Windermere disgusting. It cannot be right to cull these birds in an area they have lived for many, many years.
I suggest you will understand that my family will not be coming to visit the Lake District to contribute to your wealth so you can kill birds. Anybody who does this are morons and don’t deserve to live in such a beautiful place. To kill them on their nest is reprehensible. Surely you should know this? Lastly I shall ensure that all my friends know about your evil intentions.

Wilf Newman

Lover of all animals and the birds you should be looking after.

Posted by Wilf newman on 21 March 2012 at 12:49

The cull is a waste of time and tax payers money. There are not 1200 Geese on Windermere all year, and in any case its 11 miles long! The LDNPA are damaging tourism and the image of the UK at a time when we are in the spotlight - the pollution has been proved to come from the farms in run-off from their cattle, as well as the raw sewage that the Council allows to pour into Windermere every year, there is no evidence this even comes from Geese. And Derek - you clearly haven't read the environmental report that blames the cattle and sheep for the E.coli in Windermere? They don't need to live in water to pollute it - in fact there seems to be as many Swans and ducks, and they also pollute the banks. This is not the issue they are claiming, it's a commercial decision backed by rich land owners and nothing more. The LDNP need to look at alternative humane methods and live up to their responsibility.

Posted by Nigel Harris on 14 March 2012 at 12:56

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