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Geese safety concerns

Greylag geese near Sumburgh airport.

A SHETLAND councillor has called for a more extensive cull of greylag geese around Sumburgh airport for safety reasons.

Earlier this month a professional shooter killed 59 geese in the vicinity of the busy airport but Shetland South member Allison Duncan feels more needs to be done.

He raised the issue at a recent meeting of the Sumburgh airport consultative committee of which he is the vice-chairman.

Duncan said: “I am keeping a close watch on the situation at Sumburgh. There are three skeins of geese, each of which the size of between 100 and 147 geese.

“If there would not be a cull among those geese, then I would be concerned about safety at the airport.

“In my opinion there has to be a further cull because once those geese are starting to mate their young ones will come back to this particular area. It only is going to get worse.”

He said he did not want his comments be seen as criticism of the airport, adding that he was well aware that its firemen were regularly scaring off geese by setting off rockets.

Airport manager Nigel Flaws said: “We manage bird activity very proactively to maintain the area around the airport as bird free as possible.

“We actually employ people full-time at the airfield but we also go out into the surrounding areas and, if required, we bring in expertise to deal with any particular problem.”