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A petition has been launched to take ravens off the protected species’ list and allow livestock owners to shoot them without having to obtain a special licence.
I do agree that other measures could be deployed to protect sheep from raven depredation – moving stock indoors during lambing is certainly an option in some locations. I am however not naive enough to believe this is an option in all localities and thus accept that some ravens will need to be killed. Something that animal welfare groups and “compassionate” conservationists will no doubt dispute. Protecting each and every individual of a species, at all costs, is a noble notion but one I do not feel is very realistic.
A decade or so ago it would be rare to see a flock of ravens in these parts and attacks were virtually unheard of. But in recent years there has been a nationwide explosion in the population . . .
I’ve seen ravens working together in groups of three herding the sheep into the corner with their wings spread out. They did it until they were exhausted and then one grabbed its tail with its beak and the others came in.”