FARMERS in Northern Ireland are being urged to take advantage of a pest control scheme run by the British Association for Shooting and Conservation (BASC) and the Ulster Farmers’ Union (UFU).
The scheme will put farmers in touch with people who shoot so they can help reduce damage caused by pests.
Speaking during a recent meeting of the North West dairy group in Limavady, BASC NI director Tommy Mayne highlighted the benefits of the BASC/UFU Pest Control Scheme which has been in operation since August 2011.
The pest control service is provided free of charge and has proved popular with members of both BASC and the UFU.
Speaking after the meeting Tommy Mayne, BASC Northern Ireland director, said: “Shooting is the most effective way of reducing pest damage but some farmers have reported difficulty in making contact with reliable shooters. This scheme puts BASC NI members in touch with their local farmers who may be experiencing difficulties with pests. 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. Farmers will also have peace of mind from knowing that BASC members are covered by the BASC insurance policy which covers both the shooter and the farmer.”
Since the scheme started BASC members have dealt with a range of pest problems across the province from feral pigeons in sheds to woodpigeons damaging crops and foxes taking poultry and newborn lambs.
Ian Marshall, Ulster Farmers’ Union deputy president, said: “Farmers have an ongoing problem with pest control on farms and this scheme provides a win-win situation for shooters and farmers. I would hope all BASC and UFU members will register as soon as possible to extend the scheme.”
The pest control scheme is only available to BASC and UFU members. If you are a shooter but not a BASC member, phone 028 9260 5050, visit the BASC website: www.basc.org.uk or email: firstname.lastname@example.org to join. Farmers who are not UFU members but want to take advantage of the scheme can join the UFU by phoning 028 9037 0222. BASC NI will put UFU members in touch with their closest registered BASC members.