NFU responds to white-tailed eagle decision

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Plans to allow the white-tailed eagle to be released in Norfolk have been approved by Natural England.

It has granted a licence to the Roy Dennis Wildlife Foundation and Wild Ken Hill to release up to 60 white-tailed eagles over a five year period. The project will run for 10 years in total.

NFU East Anglia Environment Adviser Rob Wise said: “Our members will be very concerned about this project going ahead. It is not the outcome they hoped for, with all members who expressed a view to us being opposed to the proposal.

“The likely range of these birds is home to around half of the country’s outdoor reared pigs and poultry, and is also an area with a significant amount of sheep grazing. Farmers are worried sea eagles will prey on livestock including lambs, piglets and free-range poultry.

“Many members are also concerned about the impact sea eagles will have on their conservation efforts.

“We will wait to see the full requirements and conditions Natural England is placing on the licence but welcome the fact that the licence has been extended from the proposed five years to ten years. 

“It is only in the second five years that the true threat these birds might pose will become apparent and therefore it is good to know that the project will have responsibilities during this period.

“We also welcome Ken Hill’s commitment to work with us, as the project progresses. It is crucial there are adequate measures in place to ensure any impacts on livestock businesses and conservation efforts are managed and dealt with appropriately.”

You can read Natural England's decision here