Trapper to tackle mink infestation

American mink
American mink

AN approved trapper is to spend a year working on reducing the American mink population around the River Leven.

The animals have long been considered a pest along the stretch of water, but the situation is now so critical that steps are being taken to cull the numbers.

The Take a Pride in Levenmouth (TAPIL) group has been advised by the local biodiversity officer that the infestation of American mink is “significantly impacting” on other wildlife.

Speaking at Wednesday’s meeting of area councillors at Buckhaven Community Centre, Fife Council locality manager Stewart Christie said: “A complete eradication is over ambitious but we can try to control the numbers of them.”

The committee agreed to make a contribution of £10,000 to the mink control project and other environmental improvements in the area, including a community orchard in Buckhaven and at the entrance to Aberhill Primary School.

Starkies Wood in Buckhaven will also be enhanced.

Councillor David Alexander said American mink had proved a nuisance in this area before.

He said: “We had them up in Kennoway area.

“They are violent little sods who kill all the other animals in the area.

“Not to eat them; just because that’s what they do.”

American mink kill a wide range of wildlife along the River Leven, the surrounding coastal area and the small rivers running into it.

This includes fish, ground nesting birds and various small mammals.

The trapper’s work will replenish the wildlife and biodiversity in the area, it was stated in a report presented to the committee.

Assurances were given that, as part of the licensing agreement, relevant bodies associated with animal welfare were content with the arrangement.