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American Signal Crayfish found in Cumbrian river

The American Signal Crayfish Credit: ITV News Border

An invasive species of crayfish has been found dumped in a river in the Lune Valley.

American Signal Crayfish carry the Crayfish Plague, which can wipe out native populations. In this case they were already dead, and it's unlikely the infection's spread.

The Environment Agency's asking walkers to look out for people who could be dumping them into Cumbria's rivers.


Scottish Natural Heritage: Risks are "very small"

Scottish Natural Heritage have released a statement to ITV Border describing the risk of crayfish transfer to silage bales as "very small."

"It is the first time that we have come across reports of signal crayfish being transported in silage bales.

"Although it's feasible that crayfish might get caught up in the bales the risks of transfer of live crayfish between river catchments is very small."

– Spokesperson for Scottish Natural Heritage

EXCLUSIVE: Crayfish threat hits Cumbria

One of Cumbria's rivers faces a potential environmental disaster with the discovery of a population of North American Signal Crayfish.

It is the first time the foreign intruders have been found in the River Eden in Carlisle.

The fear is they could wipe out the endangered native white clawed crayfish.

It is already a big problem across the border in Scottish waters.

Kim Inglis has this report:


Crayfish farms plan setback

Crayfish like this could be farmed in south west Scotland Credit: ITV Border

Plans to develop a commercial crayfish farm in south west Scotland have hit a setback.

Local people wanted to create the farm in Loch Ken.

But authorities are concerned it could see a spread of the crayfish.

Local councillor John Thom says a working group is now being set up to look at the development of the farm and how licences can be completed to ensure it can be opened.