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RSPCA geese cull anger

bird
Canada goose at Windermere today Credit: ITV Border

The RSPCA have stepped in to the row over the proposed cull of Canada geese on Windermere.

It's proposed that 200 of the birds be shot as part of the cull.

Those behind it say the birds ruin habitats and their droppings add to pollution levels in the lake.

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Recent protests against the cull of geese Credit: ITV Border

Michael Marsh, the RSPCA's Northern Wildlife Inspector said:"It seems like the lake management committee have already made up their minds and have turned down our offer of a meeting to discuss alternatives to euthanasia. "We are not amateurs."

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Protestors have put up signs against the proposed cull Credit: ITV Border

A Lake District National Park Authority spokesman said: "I can confirm that an approach was made to meet the Windermere Geese Management Group, but the date the RSPCA suggested was not convenient.

However the WGMG is willing to meet the RSPCA at any mutually agreed time in the future."

The RSPCA says that they will retain all rights up to and including prosecution if they witness animals being treated cruelly or suffering unecessarily.

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RSPCA statement regarding the culling of Canada geese on Windermere

Statement from Gavin Grant, chief executive of the RSPCA, on Windermere Canada geese cull:

"We requested a meeting with the Geese Management Group to discuss our concerns and we're deeply disappointed that they have rejected our request.

"The purpose would have been to set out our scientific opinion as to why the proposed cull will be utterly ineffectual as well as immoral. Shooting birds on the nest is barbaric and has the potential to cause a great deal of suffering and it simply won’t work as other non-nesting birds will quickly move in to replace them.

"We will now be writing formally to the Lake District National Park Authority setting out this information.

"There are alternative solutions that don't involve the killing of vast numbers of birds and our specialist wildlife experts are prepared to work with them on this, but this offer has not been taken up.

"Should the cull go ahead we will take up their offer to observe it and we give due notice that should our expectations that it cannot be carried out lawfully prove to be correct we will not hesitate to move forward to prosecute those involved.

"Such a cull will be a bloody stain on the beautiful waters of Lake Windermere which will take many years to wash away. We call on those who love the Lake District to join us in urging the National Park Authority to call off the cull."

– Gavin Grant, RSPCA

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Protesters offer compromise

Clive Hartley, Conservationist
"Let's meet in the middle" Credit: ITV Border

Clive Hartley is a local conservationist opposing the cull. He said:

"We have a tremendous turn out here today. The public are behind us and don't want this cull to go ahead. We are prepared to fund an independent report into the problem to find a humane, non-lethal alternative to a cull.

"The two sides are too far apart at the moment. Let's meet in the middle and find a compromise."

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