The pine marten is Ireland's rarest native mammal. Estimates suggest that the total Irish population may be as small as 2,700 individuals.
Despite being such a rare and precious species, a licence was granted in 2014 for the killing of a pine marten.
The licence was granted by the National Parks and Wildlife Service under Section 42 of the Wildlife Act to "control protected wild animals causing serious damage".
The damage which merited a death sentence? "Urinating/defecating or other damage to stock," the NPWS Licensing Unit stated in response to an enquiry from the Irish Council Against Blood Sports.
We find it shocking that a licence was granted to allow the killing of a pine marten, particularly as 1) the pine marten is Ireland's rarest native mammal, 2) urinating/defecating are natural behaviors which the animal cannot avoid, 3) non-lethal options are available (e.g. making the location impenetrable to wildlife),
Responding to a Parliamentary Question from ICABS President, Maureen O'Sullivan TD, the Minister for Arts and Heritage Jimmy Deenihan confirmed the killing - "Only one licence has been granted in recent years to allow the killing of one pine marten," he said. "In this particular instance, the licensee demonstrated that there was an on-going persistent problem that had not been solved by live capture and removal. There was also a public health concern as the affected premises housed a food wholesaler."
Join us in urging the National Parks & Wildlife Service to reject any future applications for licences to kill the rare pine marten species.
Wildlife Licensing Unit
National Parks & Wildlife Service
Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht
Ely Place, Dublin 2
Tel: 01 888 3289
Thanks to Peter Akokan for the footage in this video.
Footage Copyright Peter Akokan