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Orkney wild goose meat to go on sale across Scotland

Islanders have been able to legally cull a set number of greylag geese since 2012.

Geese: Meat from the birds will go on sale. Pixabay

Meat from wild geese shot on Orkney will go on sale across Scotland for the first time.

Islanders have been able to legally cull a set number of greylag geese since 2012 after the birds’ booming population damaged farmers’ crops.

In the first couple of years of the project the dead birds were sent to landfill but since then the meat has been licensed for sale on Orkney, with products on offer including goose burgers.

Now, Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) has announced a trial project to sell the meat across Scotland. Sales will be licensed from August 1 to October 31.

Claudia Rowse, SNH’s head of natural resource management said: “We are delighted to announce Scotland-wide sales of resident greylag goose meat for a short trial period.

“Now, licensed sellers from Orkney will have a chance to develop the market for their product and people can try goose for themselves on Orkney and across Scotland.”

She added: “Wild geese are an important part of Scotland’s nature but their rapid rise in numbers has been challenging for farmers and crofters.

“Striking the balance between conservation, farming and hunting can be difficult.

“Our goal is to give farmers and crofters the tools they need to safeguard their crops, enabling them to control goose numbers sustainably and sell goose meat for profit.”

SNH runs the Orkney Resident Greylag Goose Project and said the number of overall geese on the islands will be maintained at a “healthy, sustainable population”.

RSBP figures indicate the resident greylag geese population on Orkney increased from 300 breeding pairs in 2002 to more than 10,000 geese by 2008.

The sale of wild goose meat shot outwith the project remains illegal.

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