Farmers’ lynx fears

Farmers aren't happy about plans to reintroduce lynxes in the UK.

Farmers aren't happy about plans to reintroduce lynxes in the UK. - Credit: AP

Plans to reintroduce the lynx to East Anglian woodland could be “catastrophic” for parts of the farming industry, farmers have warned.

Lynx UK Trust said in a public survey more than 90% of respondents back a scheme to bring back the big cat to several areas across the UK, including Thetford Forest.

But Andrew Blenkiron, estate director at the Euston Estate in west Suffolk, said although the animals would be GPS tracked, which should reveal whether they are responsible for any livestock losses, the system wasn’t foolproof.

“I’m very, very nervous about it because of the impact it could have on livestock we farm here and game birds as well,” he said.Although supporters of the reintroduction believed the lynxes would attack deer, for example, piglets, lambs and game birds, all of which were reared on the estate, would be easier prey, he suggested, as would stone curlews.

Rob Wise, regional environment adviser for the National Farmers Union, said the plan represented a risk to farmers. “The consequences of this could be catastrophic because we have sheep, outdoor pigs and poultry which would be threatened by the lynx.”

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