Farmers in Northern Ireland are being urged to take advantage of a pest control scheme launched by the British Association for Shooting and Conservation (BASC) and the Ulster Farmers’ Union (UFU).
BASC and the UFU joined forces to put farmers who are in need of pest control in touch with people who shoot so they can get together to try and prevent damage caused by pests.
Since its launch, BASC members have dealt with a range of pest problems across the province, from feral pigeons in sheds to woodpigeons eating cereals and foxes taking poultry and newborn lambs.
A BASC member dealt with a fox problem on a farm outside Ballyclare owned by the McMaster family. Nigel McMaster said: “I read about the BASC pest control scheme in the farming press recently and being a UFU member, I had no hesitation in contacting the BASC NI office as I was having problems with foxes taking newborn lambs. Within a few hours, I received a call from a BASC member who lives in my area. He arrived at my farm later that evening and subsequently dispatched a fox that was in the field next to my sheep. The BASC/UFU pest control scheme is an excellent initiative and I was provided with a first class service that was both quick and humane. I would encourage any farmer having problems with pests such as foxes to contact BASC NI.”
Tommy Mayne, BASC Northern Ireland director, said: “The most effective way of reducing pest damage is by shooting but some farmers have reported difficulty in making contact with shooters. This scheme puts BASC NI members in touch with their local farmers who may be experiencing difficulties with pests and it provides a win-win situation for shooters and farmers. BASC members get access to new areas for shooting opportunities and farmers get much needed help with pests that are damaging crops, taking livestock and spreading disease.”
Anyone who wants to join the scheme can contact the BASC Northern Ireland team on 02892 605050 or email firstname.lastname@example.org with your BASC or UFU membership number, postcode and mobile phone number. BASC NI will put UFU members in touch with their closest registered BASC members.
The pest control scheme is only available to BASC and UFU members. If you are a shooter but not a BASC member, phone 02892 605050 to join. Farmers who are not UFU members but want to take advantage of the scheme can join the UFU by phoning 028 90370222.
Photograph by Nick Ridley.