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Should Britain's farmers be worried about reintroduction of lynx?

Farmers and landowners are being given the chance to air their views on controversial proposals to reintroduce lynx to parts of Scotland and England.


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Farm organisations have raised concerns about the reintroduction of lynx
Farm organisations have raised concerns about the reintroduction of lynx

The Lynx UK Trust is looking to commence trial reintroductions in Aberdeenshire, Argyll, Northumberland, Cumbria and Norfolk.

 

Respond to the consultation here.

 

Farm organisations including NFU Scotland and the National Sheep Association have raised concerns about the predatory impact the big cats could have on livestock.

 

Andrew Bauer, deputy director of policy for NFUS said: “Whilst the prospect of lynx reintroduction has left some breathless with excitement, there are good reasons why the farming community is more wary.

 


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  • We've enough bother having our lambs killed by badgers and foxes! Lynx are a whole different ball game. Why make problems?

Louise Hobson, Facebook

 

“In some parts of Europe the impact of lynx is moderate – very distressing and damaging for those who lose lambs but not a widespread problem. There are other parts of Europe, most notably Norway, where the impact is far greater – with official reports concluding that tens of thousands of lambs are being predated each year in Norway alone by species such aslynx and wolves.”

 

Mr Bauer said farmers were right to question why and how lynx, absent from Scotland since medieval times, should be reintroduced.

 

“Alongside trumpeting the benefits, those who advocate lynx reintroduction should be up front about the potential impacts on Scotland’s hugely important sheep farming industry and the potentially very significant cost to the public purse,” he added.

 

  • Stupid idea. They would kill lambs without a second thought.

David Evans, facebook

 

“Anyone who is concerned about lynx reintroduction should take heart from the fact that any such proposal would be subject to a considerable level of scrutiny.”

 

NFUS is a member of the National Species Reintroduction Forum which will scrutinise any application.

 

The Lynx UK Trust said 91 per cent of 9,000 respondents to a survey it carried out were in favour of lynx being brought back to help control deer numbers.

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