ANGLERS’ fury about carnage caused by otters has resulted in over 3,000 disgruntled fishermen joining a Facebook group in a couple of months.

The Facebook group, Fishery Defence Group Against Total Otter Predation, is highlighting the horrific damage caused by otters to fish and other types of wildlife.

It is showing harrowing scenes of destructions of otters killing carp plus swans and other waterfowl.

The group says on Facebook: “UK fisheries and fish keepers are under extreme pressure both financially and emotionally.

“Otters were reintroduced back into the country without any proactive systems in place to protect one of the largest participation sports in the world.

“We have all seen the posts of dead fish all over social media disembowelled by these vermin.

“Let’s show the government what we really think and that every angler, keeper or hobbyist has a say,” it concludes.

Ideas currently floated in the group include a boycott on buying rod licences in protest at the EA refusing to tackle the otter problem.  Co-ordinated action days have been suggested, when everyone refuses to go fishing, especially on the first day of the season.

Top angling guide Martyn Cattermole, who is a moderator of the page, explained: “The group grew out of the fury felt by anglers at the perceived lack of action on otter predation, and was in part a response to the Barbel Society petition to parliament calling for their non-lethal control.

“In the early days some of the proposals to the group and sentiments expressed were too extreme so we have ensured that it focuses on highlighting what is a very serious and growing menace and only advocates action within the law,” he added.

Steve Pope, chairman of the Barbel Society commented: “Quite a few of these Facebook groups seem to be springing up which shows the extent of feeling about the issue, although I’m not sure how effective they will be.

“Our petition to Parliament calling for non-lethal control of otters quickly gained a lot of support but was rejected by the Government.

“We have no current action planned on the issue but otter predation is certainly a major problem that we will continue to address,” he added.

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