According to reports, Scottish Natural Heritage are slaughtering thousands of migratory geese as they arrive at their winter home on a Hebridean island.
More than 8,000 of the legally protected Greenland Barnacle Geese have been shot in the past three years with nearly half of that total being killed last winter alone. These figures are really shocking given that they relate to just one single island, Islay. The island is home to 60% of the world's population of this RSPB amber-listed species. Despite being internationally protected, the geese which fly in from the North Atlantic every year as they have for millennia, are alleged to cause harm to grazing land used by sheep and cattle, bringing the migrating visitors into conflict with farmers.
I've spoken before many times about SNH and their particularly bloodthirsty approach to the wildlife they purport to protect but this news is especially appalling given the sheer number of geese killed.
Scientists have been questioning the methods used to control the geese, which are shot, often randomly using pump action shotguns, leaving countless birds wounded and left to die slowly and in great pain. Dead birds are reportedly dumped in landfill sites.
There are no words for such vile acts of cruelty but the embarrassingly misguided judgement of SNH must be challenged. Over and over again we are seeing them making poor decisions skewed in favour of farmers and gamekeepers while neglecting in their duty towards wildlife and nature. Indeed their lack of integrity is offensive and their morals and reasoning questionable to say the least.
Meanwhile now, with the geese arriving once again for their winter stay, the isle of Islay will become a bloodbath as this beautiful and endangered species is gunned down under the authority of SNH, the agency ironically entrusted with conserving our wildlife.
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