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Raven cull is not threatening species, report finds

This is important news for sheep farmers in those areas of Scotland where these large corvids cause serious and often fatal damage to livestock, particularly lambs. 

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Raven cull is not threatening species, report finds

A report published by Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) has concluded that the number of licences issued to control ravens is not affecting affect the population in the long term.

 

This is important news for sheep farmers in those areas of Scotland where these large corvids cause serious and often fatal damage to livestock, particularly lambs.

 

The issue of SNH licences to control ravens is the only effective remedy.

 

The report has found there has been an increase in the Scottish raven population of more than 50 per cent over the past 20 years, with Scotland holding the majority of the UK raven population.


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Robbie Kernahan, SNH’s head of wildlife management, said: “It is our job to encourage healthy populations of native species as well as support rural businesses.

 

“Ravens can cause serious damage to livestock, particularly lambs.

 

No risk

"Where this is a serious problem, and there is no other solution, we issue licences for farmers to shoot and scare the birds.

 

“This research shows that the number of ravens killed under licence will not put the Scottish population at risk. However, we will continue to monitor so we can adjust licence numbers when we need to.”

Andrew Midgley, environment and land use policy manager at NFU Scotland welcomed the report.

 

“The licencing system provides a very important mechanism through which farmers can seek to prevent wildlife, which is legally protected, from causing serious agricultural damage,” he said.

 

“Farmers apply to SNH for a licence to deal with a problem and it is for SNH to make decisions about granting licences on the basis of its knowledge of the population and species ecology.

 

“It is therefore vital that SNH has up-to-date population information.”

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