Gwynedd politician Siân Gwenllian has expressed grave concern regarding the proposed reintroduction of eagles to Snowdonia.

The Member of the Senedd for the Arfon constituency and Shadow Minister for Plaid Cymru has joined a number of figures to express her concern about a possible reintroduction of eagles to Snowdonia.

Siân Gwenllian MS has said: “There are many reasons to oppose this plan, but the interests of local farmers are undoubtedly a priority.

"I have been in discussions with local farmers, and with the local branch of the FUW, and I share their concerns that these plans could pose an additional danger to local agriculture, an industry which is already facing countless challenges.

"The likely reason that the species disappeared from the area in the first place is insufficient subsistence in the Snowdonia area. This could mean that if reintroduced, local farmers' lambs would be easy prey for them. That is very worrying. ”

Wilder Britain, the organisation calling for the reintroduction of eagles to Wales, held a public meeting to discuss the plans in Betws y Coed in early September.

There is concern that Wilder Britain is interfering with the rigorous research project carried out by the Eagle Reintroduction Wales (ERW) project, led by Cardiff University. That project undertakes careful and detailed research into the environmental and ecological impact of eagle reintroduction.

"Dr Paul O’Donoghue, director of Wilder Britain, claims that eagles in Snowdonia were culled, but there is ground to believe that their disappearance was due to lack of subsistence for the species,@ added Siân Gwenllian.

"This could be a major threat to the area's wildlife and agricultural stock. We know that eagles can carry the weight of other animals, putting Snowdonia's biodiversity at risk. ”

ERW has stated in the past that it is important to consult with local sheep farmers, and that their lamb stock could be at risk.

Siân Gwenllian raised the issue in a plenary session of the Senedd today with Lesley Griffiths MS, Minister for the Environment, Energy and Rural Affairs. Ms Gwenllian asked the minister to ‘state clearly that the Welsh Government will not support these recommendations, and that they need to be put aside as soon as possible.’

Lesley Griffiths MS responded by saying that she appreciated that such proposals were 'controversial' and that there were polarised views', and she noted that all points of view on the issue needed to be considered.

Siân Gwenllian MS said: “It is important that we listen to the voices of farmers who are expressing great concern about this scheme.

“I appreciate RSPB Cymru's statement that any proposed reintroduction of the species would have to come following thorough research, local consultation, and widespread support from local communities.

"According to my conversations with the FUW, there is reason to believe that that local support does not exist. ”