Farm Ireland

Friday 24 November 2017

'It's a myth that Buzzards attack dogs and lambs'

Birdwatch Ireland has hit out at reports that say the birds are responsible for such attacks

Buzzards consume pests such as rats and grey squirrels in large numbers
Buzzards consume pests such as rats and grey squirrels in large numbers
Ciaran Moran

Ciaran Moran

It says that reports of giant Buzzards causing major problems in Tipperary are misleading.

Birdwatch Ireland says that a recent report, which advises owners of pet dogs and cats to be on high alert from “giant Buzzards” which are “causing major problems in the mid-Tipperary area”, is causing negative sentiment around the birds.

“There are far-reaching consequences from fostering such misguided fear of birds of prey, which threaten to drag Ireland back into a darker past."

Birdwatch Ireland has said that Buzzards pose no threat to sheep or lambs. 

“This is a myth which refuses to die in some quarters, and it needs to stop. 

“By preying on crows, rats and other pests, Buzzards in reality bring a number of clear benefits to our sheep farmers. 

“Buzzards will sometimes feed on dead or stillborn lambs, but there is no evidence of them killing or harming living lambs,” it says.

Buzzards also prey on rabbits, but are incapable of killing prey larger than this.  It says contrary to claims in the article, Buzzards pose no threat whatsoever to the survival of Ireland’s hare population.

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Birdwatch Ireland also claim that the illegal threats responsible for the Buzzard’s initial disappearance in Ireland have still not disappeared.

It says the illegal poisoning and shooting of birds of prey remains prevalent in our countryside. 

“A recent spate of particularly sinister persecution incidents in Co Tipperary targeting Buzzards, as well as Peregrine Falcons and White-tailed Eagles, proves just how divisive and dangerous the incorrect and inflammatory statements presented in the recent article in the Tipperary Star can be,” it said.

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