CHISHOLM, Co. Down – The hunt for oil and gas jobs in the South Down town has been put on hold for the second time in three years due to a “dire” threat to wildlife, the Environment Agency (EA) said.
The announcement comes after a week of threats and a call from the local community for more action to help protect wildlife.
The EA said it was still trying to determine what the threat was, but the threat to the environment was “diseased, serious and growing”.
In September, the EAA said it had raised concerns with the Elandi National Park Authority about the threats to wild animals in the area, including “the potential for serious injury to people and animals”.
The Elandia area is a prime hunting and fishing site in the Co. Kildare area.
It was hit by a wave of poaching in 2014, but has since seen a significant recovery.
In a statement, Elandie said it understood the threat posed by the wildlife was “unfavourable” to hunters and trappers and that the Elands had agreed to relocate its hunting and trapping activities to the town of Kildalton.
The Elands said it would also be seeking to have its hunting license suspended, as well as its hunting licence issued for a period of three years.
A spokesman for the EA said: “The ELandi area is experiencing a huge number of poaching and the ELandia region is a very popular hunting and recreational destination for many people.”
The EA is working closely with the local people to help ensure there is no adverse impact on wildlife, while continuing to encourage and support hunters and their activities.
“Elandi is a popular tourist destination and will continue to do so.”
The EA has urged people in the region to exercise caution in any public areas.