Damage to Dutch farms by wild geese costs millions of euros

Wild geeseFarmers in the Netherlands were paid €16.3m for damage to crops and farmland caused by wild animals in the first six months of last year, the NRC said on Monday.

The compensation was paid out by the Faunafonds which was set up by the government to oversee compensation claims.

Most of the money – €6.5m – went to farmers whose land is popular with Greylag geese. Barnacle geese accounted for a further €4.7m and white-fronted geese €3.9m.

Just €700,000 was paid out to farmers who have had problems with widgeon, other ducks and beavers, the paper said.

The Dutch government wants to reduce the size of the goose population in the Netherlands back to its 2005 levels which, experts say, will entail the slaughter of 500,000 birds.

Four sheep farmers in Drenthe and Groningen were also payed a few hundred euros compensation for the death of several sheep, killed by the first wolf to enter the Netherlands for decades.

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