ISPCA plans to object to Co. Longford wind farm

The Irish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ISPCA) is set to object to the development of a wind farm in Co. Longford.

The ISPCA’s National Animal Centre is based outside Kenagh which is in close proximity to the proposed site for the Derryadd Wind Farm development at Lanesboro.

The organisation said that while it supports the creation of renewable energy, it has concerns about the proposed wind farm due to “the close proximity of turbines to the ISPCA’s National Animal Centre at Derryglogher”.

Speaking to AgriLand the ISPCA’s Andrew Kelly said the main concern is the potential impact of “low frequency noise” from the turbines on the animals.

We are concerned about the impact of the turbines and the associated low-frequency noise on the animals’ rehabilitation at the centre.

“We are most especially concerned about the equines and dogs.

“Most of the animals we care for are vulnerable and have been surrendered to, or seized by, our inspectors as a result of being cruelly treated or neglected.”

‘Stress’

Kelly went on to say that while the animals are undergoing veterinary treatment and rehabilitation they may also be immunocompromised – in other words have an impaired immune system – and therefore under unnecessary stress.

“Stressors, such as the low-frequency sound emitted by the turbines, may have a negative effect on these animals and may hinder their recovery,” he added.

He went on to say that there was still no evidence to indicate that wind turbines do not negatively impact the welfare of animals.

Until there is incontrovertible evidence that wind turbines do not have any effect on the welfare of equines, dogs and cats, the ISPCA believes that the precautionary principle should be applied and the application for the Derryadd Wind Farm should be refused.

“No such evidence currently exists and the lack of evidence with regard to negative impacts is not evidence of no impact,” he said.

‘Community concerns’

Last month AgriLand reported how 52 communities in Ireland were fighting against wind farm developments.

Residents in an area of south Co. Kerry that is home to the freshwater pearl mussel said the species would “be destroyed” if a wind farm planned for their area goes ahead.

There is also disquiet over flooding in the midlands as residents in Lanesboro await a decision in respect of the wind farm development planning application by Bord na Mona at Derryadd.

In Co. Donegal residents in the south east of the county have highlighted their worries over the hen harrier population after an application was made to An Bord Pleanala for the development of Meenbog Wind Farm, comprising 19 turbines.

And, in Co. Kildare, a local area representative said that, as far as he is concerned, wind farms are “not the solution” to the country’s carbon problem and the environment is becoming more and more damaged because Ireland “is so far behind” on its emissions.

‘Decarbonisation plans’

In a statement at the time Bord na Mona pointed out that the development of renewable energy assets was an important part of the company’s and Ireland’s decarbonisation plans.

A spokesperson added: “With regard to the location of these renewable energy projects, Bord na Mona complies with all relevant legislation and regulations and submits extremely detailed plans regarding the development to the relevant planning authority.”

The company went on to say that it also engaged closely with local communities.

The purpose of this – the spokesperson said – was to “ensure”, in the first instance, that communities were aware of the company’s plans for a particular project and thereafter to engage on “a two-way basis” in relation to concerns and the potential benefits from the proposed development.

This allows for the main emphasis to be placed on contiguous communities and the community engagement process.

The spokesperson continued: “The process currently includes door-to-door house calls in the vicinity of the proposed development; public information / consultation events; follow-up meetings on individual or group basis if requested; and the community engagement forum.

“We also include site visits to Bord na Mona’s flagship Mount Lucas Wind Farm, project newsletters and project-update clinics,” he concluded.

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