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Investigation Into Mink's Impact On Poultry

by 5m Editor
10 September 2007, at 11:23am

IRELAND - A researcher at NUI Galway's Department of Zoology is assessing the economic impact of the American mink population on Ireland's fish and open-air poultry farmers.

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"I know of a lot of people who have given up in areas where mink have become a problem,"

Conall Hawkins, a member of the department's Mammal Ecology Group.

Conall Hawkins, a member of the department's Mammal Ecology Group, said that although a lot was known about the environmental impact of the mink on native species, there had been little research on the economic effect it was having on farmers, the levels of control being implemented and the effectiveness of such measures.

The American mink, a semi-aquatic member of the weasel family, is a native of the US and Canada and has been historically prized for its fur. It was introduced in Ireland in the 1950s, when a number of mink farms were established. It has now established itself in the wild along coastlines and at fresh water habitats.

Hawkins said that commercial poultry farms were largely unaffected but he is anxious to contact fish farmers or people rearing rare-breed poultry or pheasant poults whose stock have been attacked by mink. "I know of a lot of people who have given up in areas where mink have become a problem," he said.

Source: Independent

5m Editor