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Dublin: 23 °C Tuesday 2 June, 2020

Licence to kill a pine marten granted despite protected status

Minister Jimmy Deenihan has noted there is a need for practical advice and guidelines for residents with pine marten problems.

Image: Pine Marten via Shutterstock

A LICENCE TO kill a rare, protected animal was granted by the National Parks & Wildlife Service despite the pine marten’s protected status.

The NPWS gave permission to a business owner to kill the mammal as they were able to demonstrate there was an ongoing persistent problem.

There have been calls this week for no further licences to be granted.

“Other non-lethal options are available,” TD Maureen O’Sullivan told “The NPWS should not entertain any further applications for licences. If the animal’s natural behaviour of urinating or defecating is disruptive, they can be trapped and relocated or the site can be made impenetrable”.

O’Sullivan set down a parliamentary question for the Minister with responsibility Jimmy Deenihan recently.

He explained that only one licence has been granted in recent years.

“The pine marten is protected in Ireland by both national and EU legislation. Under the Irish Wildlife Acts it is an offence, except under licence, to capture or kill a pine marten, or to destroy or disturb its resting places. Once rare, the species has spread widely in Ireland in the past 30 years,” he explained.

“In this particular instance, the licensee demonstrated that there was an ongoing persistent problem that had not been solved by live capture and removal. There was also a public health concern as the affected premises housed a food wholesaler.”

He noted that there is a need for practical advice and guidelines to deal with pine marten “in a manner that is consistent with conservation goals”.

As they have become more widespread, they can take up residence in places where they are not welcome to humans.

Last year, a booklet on how to keep them out of game and poultry pens was produced by his department and the Vincent Wildlife Trust.

The groups are working together again this year to develop an information leaflet on how to keep pine martens from setting up home in residential properties. It is due to be published in the coming months.

The Vincent Wildlife Trust in Ireland held a pine marten day in Galway on Thursday where 50 enthusiasts heard from experts on the mammals.

Read: Anger after 4 foaling mares are put down in Kilkenny despite offers of homes

More: Dead horses, cows and calves found dumped at the base of Co Clare cliffs

Laws: It’s a good day for Irish animals

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