A lamb that was attacked by a pine marten on Pauraic Brady’s farm
Anthony Jordan, in the Farmer’s Journal, reports:
Numerous pine marten attacks on livestock have been reported by farmers in Co Longford, the Irish Farmers Journal has learned. Farmers in the Midlands have expressed concerns and anger over increased attacks on animals by pine martens.
The attacks have been ongoing over the past 18 months, with fowl and sheep being the most targeted livestock.
Farmer Michael Quinn has been the victim of numerous pine marten attacks in the last two years, with seven lambs killed this year and four killed the year before.
“It is not nice to go out and see your stock attacked and killed by a pine marten,” Quinn told the Irish Farmers Journal.
“Every morning you go out you hope that there is no damage done in your field. It is really hurting farmers around the area.”
Recently, a farmer had €600 worth of pheasants wiped out in a single pine marten attack, while another farmer reported that a dog was attacked.
Drumlish farmer Pauraic Brady, who has had two lamb fatalities himself this year, believes that the situation has become critical around the county.
“Farmers are coming to the stage where they are fed up. Fowl is being wiped out, lambs are being attacked and the cost for farmers from vet’s bills is extensive.”
Pine martens have been protected in Ireland since 1994 under the Habitat Directive, but Brady, who is also a local councillor, believes numbers are rampant in Longford.
“The population has become out of control in the county. I know of up to 20 farmers who have had stock attacked. It is coming to the stage where something has to be done.”
The Irish Farmers Journal has been in contact with the Department of Art, Heritage and the Gealtacht on the topic but has not received any comment on the issue.
There are fresh calls from local farmers to have to the protected status of the pine marten lifted after the series of attacks on livestock.
Pine marten attacks sheep in Longford (Irish Farmers Journal)
Thanks Aisling Hussey