Geese cull coalition collapses in dispute over winter shooting

The controversial plan agreed by bird protection group Vogelbescherming, the forestry commission and farming organisations to cull the Dutch goose population has collapsed, the Volkskrant reports on Tuesday.

The deal, aimed at reducing the population by hundreds of thousands, fell apart because of disagreements about the winter moratorium on shooting.

The group, which calls itself Ganzen-7 (Geese 7), agreed last year to reduce the Greylag geese population back to 2005 levels, when about 100,000 birds were here.

They say the measures are necessary to reduce economic and environmental damage


In addition, non-native geese and so-called soup geese (hybrids and escapees) would no longer receive special protection, the organisations agreed.

Last week, Sovon, an organisation which monitors bird populations in the Netherlands, said some 2.1 million geese winter in the Netherlands, with Friesland acting as a temporary home to most of them.

However, efforts to reduce the population by shooting them were not succeeding, Sovon said.

In winter 2010/2011, 187,000 geese, mainly graylag, were shot, but this has not reduced their numbers. The only solution is to make the countryside, with its wetlands and rich pastures, less geese-friendly, the organisation says.

Thank you for donating to

We could not provide the Dutch News service, and keep it free of charge, without the generous support of our readers. Your donations allow us to report on issues you tell us matter, and provide you with a summary of the most important Dutch news each day.

Make a donation