€20,000 state bounty on mink to bring numbers down by 5,500
A NEW state bounty on the head of every mink in the country will result in a 50pc rise in the number killed by hunters this year, it was claimed yesterday.
National Association of Regional Game Councils (NARGC) director Des Crofton praised the introduction of the €20,000 bounty, saying it would "make a big difference".
He predicted it would lead to the killing of up to 5,500 of the animals, which terrorise and kill nesting birds, this year.
Arts and Heritage Minister Jimmy Deenihan introduced the bounty, which works out at about €3 per animal and will be administered by NARGC.
Last year, €92,000 was spent on predator control of mink, grey crow, magpie and fox. In 2011, the National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) killed 208 mink.
A 2009 Government report estimated it would cost the State €5.3m over five years to eradicate 75pc of the mink population.
Mr Deenihan said: "A report in 2009 estimated the population of wild mink could reach between 20,500 and 33,500."