Canada geese cull to go ahead: Animal Aid launches official boycott of the Lake District

Posted on the 6th March 2012

The Lake District National Park Authority (LDNPA) is today (Wednesday) expected to reaffirm its commitment to killing 200 Canada geese as they nest around Lake Windermere this spring, despite widespread opposition to the cull.

The Authority has indicated that hundreds more geese will subsequently be slaughtered. It has made a series of claims – all of which have been convincingly debunked by Animal Aid – to attempt to justify the killing. The LDNPA argues that the geese pollute the water and ‘decimate’ grassland. Despite making these claims, the LDNPA has admitted that: ‘Windermere has had no specific studies regarding the effects of Canada geese on local habitat’.

One member of the Geese Management Committee, Clive Hartley, resigned in protest when the cull was first announced last month. Brian May and Bill Oddie have also issued strong statements opposing the cull. Mr Hartley is a local conservationist who has made monthly counts of the Canada geese on Windermere for the past four years. His research has found that there are around half the number of Canada geese claimed by the LDNPA, and a significant proportion of these are migratory and will not stay at the lake. Furthermore, his figures show that numbers have levelled off in the past two years.

Says Animal Aid’s Head of Campaigns, Kate Fowler:

‘This decision is a setback but not a surprise. The vested interests on the Geese Management Committee want rid of the geese and are peddling bogus claims in order to justify their actions. There is no scientific evidence to support their claims that geese cause significant pollution or ‘serious’ damage, and yet the Authority has refused to listen to reason and refused to answer our questions. Following its reaffirmation of this unpopular and unscientific decision, Animal Aid – working with other anti-cull groups and individuals – will today launch an official boycott of the Lake District.’

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