Buzzards are friends of the farmer, not an enemy – IFA

May 28th, 2020 11:45 AM

By Kieran O'Mahony

Some of the 23 buzzards who were found dead on land between Timoleague and Bandon.

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A FARMING spokesman has said that the deliberate killing of 23 buzzards found in the area in January had nothing to do with the agri sector.

Courtmacsherry farmer and Munster regional chair of the IFA Harold Kingston said that if anything, buzzards are ‘friends of farmers’ and they would have no reason to mass poison them.

He also ruled out a connection with similar killings of three buzzards in Ring in 2018 where, in that instance, the heads of two of the birds were cut off.

‘This was definitely a deliberate killing and not an accident and they have  pretty well definitely ruled out that it has anything to do with farming activity,’ said Harold.

‘There is no reason for farmers to get rid of them as they are friends of farmers. They eat rabbits, rats, pigeons and do a fair job on crows as well.

‘They’re fantastic for anybody with tillage because they keep birds away from tillage crops.’ The dead buzzards were found on farmland between Timoleague and Bandon and tests on the carcasses confirmed that they were poisoned by banned insecticide carbofuran.

Harold said that the landowner  on whose land the dead buzzards were found is ‘devastated.’

A National Park and Wildlife Services (NPWS) spokesperson confirmed that the ‘incident was not related to agricultural practices’ in the area, nor with the landowner.

Harold appealed for anyone with information on the deliberate poisoning of the buzzards to contact the relevant authorities.

‘If you know of anything about what happened, please contact NPWS or the local gardaí, as we don’t want to see buzzards being killed,’ urged Harold.

Meanwhile, NPWS regional staff are continuing to investigate the killings and gardaí in Bandon have been alerted about the incident.

Local public representatives have expressed their horror at the poisoning of the buzzards, which are a protected species.

Fianna Fáil Deputy Christopher O’Sullivan called for the tighter policing of banned insecticides or poison.

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