You have probably heard about the planned move to reintroduce the lynx to the UK by releasing six of them in Northumberland – and now there’s insurance against possible sheep losses, although farmers are still not entirely at ease.
Several reports have examined Lynx UK Trust’s insurance deal with Lloyds Syndicate ARK Speciality Programs, with Farmers Weekly
citing National Sheep Association chief executive Phil Stocker and farmer concerns that supposedly remain.
“This will hopefully give them a great deal of confidence if the largest insurance market in the world is offering to cover any kind of attacks on livestock by lynx during a trial,” said Paul O’Donoghue, chief scientific adviser for the trust, as quoted by the report.
However, for Stocker, putting up a compensation scheme is an admission that a predatory risk to livestock exists.
“We have made huge gains in improving farm animal welfare here in the UK and no-one can convince me that allowing them to be killed by a sharp-clawed and strong-jawed animal will be welcomed by farmers if a bit of compensation money is made available,” he commented.
Stocker added: “The compensation agreement reached also extends to ‘pets and humans’, losses of which would be difficult to put monetary value on for anyone put in that position.”
The trust has a pending application with Natural England for the trial – which, as O’Donoghue mentioned, is the period covered by insurance. The report said another concern is who becomes responsible after the trial period.
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