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Opposition growing over release of lynx into the wild

Speaking to a packed meeting near Kielder Forest, where the Lynx Trust has proposed releasing six animals, John Bruce, representing the British Deer Society (BDS), said there were many reasons against the project going ahead. There is no conservationist reason as it is not considered to be at risk; BDS research estimated that a lynx would kill the equivalent of one roe deer per week. 31.8.17

Until now, the National Sheep Association (NSA) has led the opposition to the introduction of lynx to the UK but this week a wider group of rural organisations joined forces to voice their concerns.

Speaking to a packed meeting near Kielder Forest, where the Lynx Trust has proposed releasing six animals, John Bruce, representing the British Deer Society (BDS), said there were many reasons against the project going ahead.

He pointed out that there was no conservationist reason for bringing the lynx back – as it is not considered to be at risk with a healthy population in more remote parts of Europe. He then argued that bringing in six animals went against their welfare as research carried out by the BDS had shown that a much larger population of more than 200 lynx was required to give a sufficiently large genetic pool to be viable in the long term.

Bruce also quoted from the BDS research, which estimated that a lynx would kill the equivalent of one roe deer per week. When the deer population fell as a result of this predation, he said it would provide impetus for the lynx to move further afield, adding that lynx can travel up to 100 kilometres on their own volition.

The original application to release the lynx has gone to English Nature but because the Kielder Forest lies on the border with Scotland, Scottish Natural Heritage will also be consulted over the project. Bruce indicated the BDS would be making representations to both organisations. The Scotsman 18.8.17

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