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Wildcat conservation group is reeling after orphaned kitten is removed from its care just days before hearing into controversial plans for Clashindarroch wind farm extension 

Credit:  By Pat Scott | Grampian Online | 17 February 2022 | www.grampianonline.co.uk ~~

A wildcat conservation group will submit evidence on the presence of the species in the Clashindarroch at a wind farm public inquiry at the end of this month.

But Wildcat Haven, dedicated to saving the wildcat and supported by nearly one million people, were reeling this week after authorities seized a wildcat which they had been rehabilitating, ready for release into the wild in the spring.

The group will present evidence to the inquiry, on Wednesday, March 2, which they hope will lead to plans by Vattenfall, for a 14 turbine extension to the existing 18 turbine scheme on the Clashindarroch being rejected.

On Monday, the wild cat, rescued as a tiny, orphaned kitten and within hours of dying, was taken by police and a vet from the remote property in Wales where it had been being cared for.

The story of Finlay, as the kitten was named, has been followed by 1000s of people on the group’s Facebook Page and while devastated by his removal, the group believe it highlights their campaign to protect the species at a critical time.

The couple who found Finlay nursed him back to life over a few days then contacted Wildcat Haven because of their experience dealing with orphaned kittens.

He was taken to the remote location and kept in a large enclosure, accessible by small mammals so that he would develop hunting skills. Only one human fed him to minimise any risk of him becoming domesticated and the countdown to his release into the wild had begun.

A spokesperson for the group said: “Four policemen and a vet turned up and seized him without warning. They showed no paperwork and would not listen to the fact that Finlay was within weeks of being released or that their actions could be disastrous to the work that had been done.

“We have no idea where he has been taken but we really hope to get him back as soon as possible. We are worried and want to finish the job we had started.

“We believe the police may have been misled – Finlay was given to Wildcat Haven as an orphan and we have documented his story from day one, always with the plan for him to be released as soon as he would be able to look after himself. It seems like more than a co-incidence that Finlay was confiscated on the morning we were due to submit public inquiry witness statements.

“Finlay’s removal has galvanised our determination to save the Clashindarroch and its wildcat population and we urge anyone who cares for the area and the wildcat to write to their MP, MSP and Scottish Ministers to object to the development, it’s not too late.

Extensive monitoring by the group in the Clashindarroch has revealed a least 13 wildcats – the largest single group and roughly one third of the surviving population of the endangered species.

They say that clear felling required for the wind farm will be devastating to the wildcat.

The inquiry begins on Monday, February 28. Members of the public can follow the sessions at: http://dpea.public-i.tv/core/portal/home.

Source:  By Pat Scott | Grampian Online | 17 February 2022 | www.grampianonline.co.uk

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

The copyright of this article resides with the author or publisher indicated. As part of its noncommercial educational effort to present the environmental, social, scientific, and economic issues of large-scale wind power development to a global audience seeking such information, National Wind Watch endeavors to observe “fair use” as provided for in section 107 of U.S. Copyright Law and similar “fair dealing” provisions of the copyright laws of other nations. Send requests to excerpt, general inquiries, and comments via e-mail.

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