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Sale of Orkney goose meat extended

The sale of greylag goose meat on Orkney has been extended to January 31 next year.

Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) have said they hope this will encourage the use of fresh, seasonal, wild goose meat and help boost local business.

The sustainable control of resident greylag geese populations is licensed to safeguard agricultural crops, as part of the Orkney Resident Greylag Goose Project. The project was allowed to sell meat until October 31, and this extension takes advantage of the European Commission’s approval for Scotland-wide sales until any new potential EU exit date.

These licences permit the sale of resident greylag goose meat in Scotland directly to consumers as well as to retailers, such as hotels and butchers.

Claudia Rowse, SNH’s head of natural resource management said “We are delighted to announce the continued sale of resident greylag goose meat. Now, licensed sellers from Orkney will have a chance to develop the market for their product and people can try goose for themselves, on Orkney, and across Scotland.

“Wild geese are an important part of Scotland’s nature, but their rapid rise in numbers has been challenging for farmers and crofters. We know that striking the balance between conservation, farming and hunting can be difficult.

“Our goal is to give farmers and crofters the tools they need to safeguard their crops, allowing them to control goose numbers sustainably and sell goose meat for profit.”

SNH have said they are working to secure longer-term arrangements for the sale of resident greylag goose meat in Scotland. A project review will take place in January 2020, in light of the UK’s EU exit arrangements, and take into account any changes arising from the current review of its General Licences.

Sale of wild goose meat shot outside the project is prohibited under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981.

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