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Thursday, 31 July 2014

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Activists pledge to boycott Lake District over Windermere Canada geese cull

ANIMAL welfare campaigners say they will boycott the Lake District after national park bosses pledged to go ahead with a controversial culling of Canada geese on Windermere.

The Lake District National Park Authority is to press on with the shooting of 200 geese this spring, saying the non-native species is causing damage.

But outraged campaigners, who pleaded against a cull, have vowed to continue their fight to save the birds.

Anti-culling groups will stage a peaceful protest at Bowness, next to the lake, on Saturday from 12pm, but they say they will then boycott the Lakes.

The Windermere Geese Management Group, which the LDNPA is part of, said there are around 1,200 geese on the lake and they are damaging shoreline habitats, displacing of native species, spoiling grazing and crop land, causing pollution of recreational land and causing public health concerns from parasites.

The group said the managed cull would be carried out “professionally, quickly and humanely in partnership with the landowners”.

Queen guitarist, Brian May, and wildlife presenter Bill Oddie both opposed the cull. Conservationist Clive Hartley resigned from the management group in protest at the cull. Animal Aid said Mr Hartley made monthly Canada geese counts on Windermere over the past four years, and his research found there are around half the number of geese claimed by the LDNPA, with a significant proportion being migratory, and that numbers have levelled off in the past two years.

Kate Fowler, of Animal Aid, said: “Following its reaffirmation of this unpopular and unscientific decision, Animal Aid, working with other anti-cull groups and individuals, will today launch an official boycott of the Lake District.”

Kathy Musker, of Respect for Wildlife said: ““The authority has not carried out non-lethal methods of control properly and, as such, could be leaving itself open to prosecution. This matter is far from over.”

A Windermere Geese Management Group spokesman said: “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.

“The large population on Windermere has a serious negative impact on the economy, the environment, and adds to the pollution within the lake and on surrounding land with the health risks associated with this.”

Have your say

Its the tourists who need culling, not these harmless creatures, they ought to be welcomed, quite an attraction they are too. They've made an effort, coming all the way from Canada and overcoming all types of natural challenges to be here amongst us, oh, come on man, give them a chance !!

Posted by Matt on 16 March 2012 at 23:25

As a regular visitor to the Lakes, I have to admit I have never notices there being too many birds so I don't really see a need for the cull. Then again, i'm largely uneducated on the matter so i'm not really in the best position to give a well balanced opinion. However, what I do know is this: All you people who claim they will boycott the Lakes...No you won't

Posted by Dave K on 9 March 2012 at 22:40

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