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Fund fencing, not killing: Maureen O'Sullivan TD
18 July 2012

ICABS President, Maureen O'Sullivan TD has urged the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht to use fencing instead of trapping and killing to protect nesting birds from natural predators.

In her Dail question to Minister Jimmy Deenihan (see below), Deputy O'Sullivan pointed to the 100 per cent success of a conservation project in Mayo which uses fencing as a barrier around a bird breeding site. The Heritage Council-funded Annagh Marsh fence has been hailed a "great success".

Minister Deenihan has previously given 20,000 Euro to a shooting organisation for "targeted control of predators" which he claimed "can have a significant benefit" to the breeding success of bird species.

However, the actual benefit of this approach is highly questionable, given the fact that when a predator is cruelly trapped and killed, another will naturally move in to fill the empty territory.

"Minister, we call on your department to stop funding the trapping and killing of wildlife and instead choose the humane and effective solution of fencing," we stated.


Encourage Minister Jimmy Deenihan to stop funding trapping and killing and instead favour the permanent and effective fencing solution.

Jimmy Deenihan, TD
Minister for Arts, Heritage and Gaeltacht Affairs
Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht
23 Kildare Street
Dublin 2

Tel: (01) 631 3802
Fax: (01) 661 1201

Parliamentary Questions and Answers

Question 147 - Answered on 11th July, 2012

Maureen O'Sullivan, TD (Dublin Central, Independent):

To ask the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht if he will consider the use of the funding currently being used in trapping and killing of natural predator for fencing to protect nesting birds of the type used in County Mayo (details supplied) which is enjoying 100 per cent success in keeping natural predators out of a bird breeding site.

Written Answer. Ref No: 33880/12

Jimmy Deenihan (Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht) (Kerry North-West Limerick, Fine Gael):

My Department is aware of the success of the use of fencing to exclude predators, such as foxes, from the site in question in County Mayo, where a small number of waders are now breeding within the fenced-off area. The use of exclusion fencing rather than trapping is an option that my Department considers, where appropriate, but it is not always feasible. For example, fencing would not be considered a viable option to exclude avian predators, such as crows, which fly over fences, or wild mink, which swim up rivers and wet drains into sites.

In addition, fencing is a very expensive option compared to trapping and would not be economically viable in the large number of sites that my Department manages. My Department will, however, keep the option of using exclusion fencing under review and will continue to consider its use, where feasible.

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