McArthur calls for long term commitment to goose management

During a meeting today with Rural Affairs Minister, Mairi Gougeon, Orkney’s MSP Liam McArthur emphasised the need for the Scottish Government to ‘stay the course’ in efforts to reduce greylag geese numbers in the islands.

The call came as Scottish Natural Heritage announced a package of measures aimed at bringing resident greylag geese numbers in Orkney down to around 5000.

Mr McArthur was joined at the meeting by Highlands & Islands MSP, Jamie Halcro-Johnston who had raised similar concerns at a recent ministerial question time.

Following the meeting, Mr McArthur said:

“It is clear that the Minister recognises the importance of tackling this issue and the scale of the challenge involved. While the package of measures announced by SNH today is welcome, it is also clear that it is going to take time to achieve the objective of bringing greylag goose numbers down to a sustainable level.

“That is why it is so important that the Scottish Government now stays the course. Ongoing funding will be needed to support the work of the local management group and allow coordination to take place. The Minister agreed to look at ways in which this might be achieved and to come back with more detailed thoughts in due course.

“I am encouraged by the developments today but also determined to make sure that this now translates into effective action to address what has been a long-running issue affecting Orkney’s farming community”.

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