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Wildlife Conservation.

Dáil Éireann Debate, Thursday - 30 April 2009

Thursday, 30 April 2009

Ceisteanna (198, 199)

Joe McHugh

Ceist:

198 Deputy Joe McHugh asked the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government if he will introduce a ban on the indiscriminate use of poisoned bait that does not differentiate between vermin and other carnivorous species; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [17255/09]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Joe McHugh

Ceist:

214 Deputy Joe McHugh asked the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government the measures he is establishing to protect endangered species and to reintroduce extinct species of bird, with reference to obligations under EU legislation; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [17267/09]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 198 and 214 together.

The Wildlife Acts of 1976 and 2000 and the EU (Natural Habitats) Regulations 1997, which transposed the EU Birds and Habitats Directives, provide the statutory basis for the protection of endangered species in Ireland. The designation of Special Areas of Conservation and Special Protection Areas under the directives helps to conserve and protect rare and threatened species such as the hen harrier, the chough and the Killarney fern. My Department is involved in a wide range of specific projects to protect rare or endangered species, including, for example, the corncrake, the grey partridge and the freshwater pearl mussel. In addition, my Department has been working with the Golden Eagle Trust on the reintroduction of extinct birds of prey into Ireland, such as the Golden Eagle in Donegal, the White Tailed Eagle in Kerry and the Red Kite in Wicklow. I am aware that some of these reintroduced birds have died as a result of eating poisoned meat-based bait. I am concerned about these incidents as not only do they endanger the fulfilment of our commitment to maintain and enhance Ireland's native wildlife, but they also harm our environmental and agricultural reputation at home and abroad. I propose, therefore, to introduce new regulations to prohibit the use of poisoned meat-based bait. My Department is in consultation with the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food on this matter to ensure that maximum protection is afforded to Ireland's wildlife while at the same time supporting good farming practice.

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