Cahill: Mink doing untold damage to wildlife and fish in Tipperary

Lough Derg Photo © Tipp FM

The damage being caused by mink to wildlife in rural Tipperary has been highlighted in the Dáil.

Deputy Jackie Cahill met with a number of angling and conservation groups last week to discuss their concerns about the threat.

The mink – which is a member of the weasel family – will attack animals up to the size of a chicken, duck or rabbit as well as fish.

Jackie Cahill called for action to be taken to reduce mink levels as a matter of urgency.

“Mink is an invasive species that has no natural predator. The mink kills for fun, just kills for sport.

“It’s doing untold damage to wildlife and fish life in rural Ireland. If you take Lough Derg its having an impact on tourism as fish stocks are getting seriously depleted by mink. And if you walk along any river now you will not see a water hen anywhere – they have been completely decimated by the mink.”

Malcolm Noonan – the Minister of State with responsibility for Heritage – accepted the need to eradicate these animals but cost is an issue at the moment.

“They’re causing absolute utter destruction out there for wildlife. We did look at a costing of what a total eradication might look like. Other countries have done it – it’s very, very costly. Despite the increased resources that we have received for the National Parks and Wildlife Service we wouldn’t have the resources to that – neither financial or human – at this stage to do it but I do think it would be the ultimate objective to have them removed from the countryside.”