A parliamentary resolution has been submitted that will allow farmers to kill swans on their land, and hunt geese outside the normal hunting season, to protect their farms, RÚV reports.
The proposal, which was written by the Progressive Party chair and two party members, states that the Minister for the Environment should prepare permits for the hunting of swans and geese outside of hunting season. By law, swans are not allowed to be hunted, as they are a protected species. However, the permits will be granted in areas where it is considered necessary to cull the birds in order to protect fields and crops.
Þórunn Egilsdóttir, who initiated the proposal, says that, whilst the aim is first and foremost to protect farmland from the damage caused by the birds, it has to be carefully determined how necessary the hunt is, in order to ensure the protection of the flocks. “The methods used so far have only worked temporarily and are not enough,” Þórunn says. “I hope it is possible to find ways to deal with the problem without causing too much damage to the bird population.”
She says that the implementation and monitoring of the hunting must be the responsibility of the Environment Agency, the Institute of Natural History, the Icelandic Farmers’ Association and thee Ministry Of The Environment.
The proposal has been submitted but not yet agreed on or passed. However, Þórunn expects strong parliamentary support. “I think those who know the case and have heard from the farmers fully understand it. Farmers have discussed these issues openly. I do not expect anything other than Parliament wanting to support Icelandic farmers, whilst taking care of nature and conservation.”
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